Sushma Swaraj embarks on visit to Indonesia
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today embarked on a five-day visit to Indonesia to attend the 60th commemoration of the historical 1955 Asian-African Conference, which became the stepping stone for setting up the Non-Aligned Movement during cold war-era. She will also attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership. Swaraj is accompanied by senior diplomats from the Ministry for the conference where important discussions will take place in Jakarta and Bandung.
The 1955 conference led by Indonesia's independence hero Sukarno galvanised global stalwarts like Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whose famous ‘Panchsheel' doctrine was incorporated in 10 principles of international peace and cooperation in declaration. Citing the Budget Session of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his inability to attend the commemoration which is expected to see participation of Heads of States from major Asian and African powers like China, Japan, South Africa among others.
He had written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressing his regrets for not being able to attend the meet. In the letter, the Prime Minister also invited Widodo to visit India and said he was looking forward to visiting Indonesia at a mutually convenient time. Asserting that he attaches extraordinary importance to bilateral relations with Indonesia, Modi had said there was much in “our proximity, history, culture and now, the sheer democratic values and our roles as two major emerging Asian nations that impart great strategic importance to our partnership”.
Noting that in these 60 years, Asia has seen unprecedented economic progress, rise of democracy and elimination of poverty, Modi said, “Yet it must still deal with unresolved questions and unsettled issues for enduring peace and prosperity in the region”.