1. Home
  2. India
  3. Sushma Swaraj to attend meet with

Sushma Swaraj to attend meet with ASEAN, other east Asian countries

PTI 06 Aug 2014, 19:54:42 PM IST
New Delhi: In her first engagement at multilateral fora, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Myanmar on Friday to attend key conferences of Asean and East Asian countries besides scheduled bilateral meetings with her counterparts from these nations except Pakistan.

Swaraj will attend three multilaterals, which are -12th annual India-Asean Foreign Ministers meet, ministerial conference of East Asia Summit (EAS) and Asean Regional Forum (ARF), the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.  

These will be Swaraj's first participation at multilateral fora since assuming charge as External Affairs Minister in May.

Noting that India-Asean ties have reached a “critical mass”, the Spokesperson said the effort would be to push it to the next level. Connectivity between Asean States and India, people-to-people contact and seamless integration of economic space would be among the focus areas in India-Asean FMs meet.  

During the EAS ministerial meet, cooperation in the areas of energy, education, disaster management, food security and connectivity would be deliberated upon among other issues.

Giving details of the ARF conference, the Spokesperson said peace and security in the region will be discussed and as far as “India is concerned we will focus on issues relating to terrorism and as well as developments in the region in terms of peace and security, especially relating to Afghanistan.”

On Swaraj's bilateral meetings, he said the minister will meet her counterparts from Myanmar, China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Canada on the margins of the multilaterals.  

Asked if Swaraj would be meeting her Pakistani counterpart, the Spokesperson did not give a direct reply and merely said that he has given the names of the countries with whose Foreign Ministers Swaraj would be holding bilateral talks.

Pakistan is a sectoral dialogue partner of the 10-member Asean.

Significantly, the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan are scheduled to meet on August 25 in Islamabad to discuss ways to move forward in the ties.