Strategic partnership with ASEAN has been core of India’s policy: Modi


NEW DELHI: The Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi has said that the strategic partnership between India and ASEAN is based on shared historical, geographical, and cultural heritage and it has always been the core of India’s Act East Policy, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends 17th ASEAN-INDIA Summit via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

In his opening remarks at the 17th ASEAN-India Summit, he said that improving connectivity between India and ASEAN has been a priority area. “It is of prime importance for us to improve physical, economic, societal, digital, financial and maritime connections between India and ASEAN. We’ve come closer in these sectors in the last couple of years and I believe this summit will go further to bridge gaps,” he said.
He noted that there are many similarities between India’s ‘Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative’ and ASEAN’s ‘Outlook on Indo Pacific’.
“Strategic Partnership of India and ASEAN is based on our shared historical, geographical and cultural heritage. ASEAN has always been the core of our Act East Policy. There are many similarities between India’s ‘Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative’ and ASEAN’s ‘Outlook on Indo Pacific’,” Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi along with Vietnamese counterpart HE Nguyen Xuan Phuc, is co-chairing the 17th ASEAN-India Summit.
The leaders of all ten ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states are participating in the virtual summit to review the status of the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and take stock of progress made in key areas such as connectivity, maritime cooperation, trade and commerce, education and capacity building.
The latest 17th ASEAN-India Summit is the eighth ASEAN-India Summit attended by Prime Minister Modi. Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday said that ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership stands on a strong foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilisational ties and India’s Act East Policy, underlining ASEAN centrality, reflects the importance, India attaches to engagement with ASEAN.

Meanwhile, sharing his experience of Emergency with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said one doesn’t need to sacrifice his or her own ideology to fight for a common, greater cause. “When people joined Mahatma Gandhi, they didn’t leave their ideologies. I have seen Emergency days. There were so many people from various political beliefs — from Congress, from RSS. But we were all united by a common cause of national interest,” PM Modi said, unveiling a statue of Swami Vivekananda at the university campus via video-conferencing.

“Placing individual ideologies before national good is wrong,” the Prime Minister said in his speech where he also gave some tips to JNU students. “Don’t accept status quo. Swami Vivekananda never accepted status quo. Do’t forget to laugh. I often see young people so serious as if the burden of the entire world is on them,” PM Modi said.

His speech also dwelled on politics, reforms and reforms brought by the BJP government. Talking about reforms and politics, Modi said there was a time when good reforms were considered to be bad politics. Urging JNU students to debate on this, the PM asked, “How did good reforms become good politics? You at JNU must deliberate on this.” (ANI)