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India fully supports a strong, unified ASEAN: Jaishankar

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New Delhi, June 16 (Ajit Weekly News) Addressing the first ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that New Delhi “fully supports a strong, unified and prosperous” Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“This path has become even more arduous with geo-political headwinds which we face due to developments in Ukraine and its knock on effects on food and energy security, as well as fertilizer and commodities prices, and logistics and supply chain disruptions,” Jaishankar was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Thursday by the Ministry of External Affairs

He said ASEAN has always “stood tall as a beacon of regionalism, multilateralism and globalization as it has successfully carved out a niche for itself in the region and provided the foundation for the evolving strategic and economic architecture in the Indo-Pacific”.

“ASEAN’s role today is perhaps more important than ever before given the geopolitical challenges and uncertainties that the world faces. India fully supports a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN, one whose centrality in the Indo-Pacific is fully recognised. The strong convergence of the AOIP and the IPOI is a testimony to our shared Vision for the region.” he said.

Jaishankar further said that “ASEAN-India ties, anchored in history and nurtured by common ethos, have withstood the test of time and indeed, grown stronger with each passing decade”.

“The Sectoral Partnership of 1992 matured into a Summit level Partnership in 2002 and further evolved into a Strategic Partnership in 2012. It has entered the fourth decade of relationship and the ties too must respond to the world that we confront.

“A better connected India and ASEAN would be well positioned to promote decentralized globalization and resilient and reliable supply chains that is so needed by the international community.

“Under the current global uncertainties, as we review our journey of the last 30 years and chart our path for the coming decades, it is important that we identify a new set of priorities while ensuring the early realization of our ongoing initiatives. I look forward very much to our discussions today on the whole gamut of our collaborative agenda,” Jaishankar added.

–Ajit Weekly News

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