India boosts ASEAN engagement with dedicated missionJakarta: India today expressed its readiness to bolster cooperation with ASEAN in collectively addressing the “traditional and non-traditional” security challenges facing the region as it formally inaugurated a dedicated mission for the 10-member bloc here.Inaugurating
Jakarta: India today expressed its readiness to bolster cooperation with ASEAN in collectively addressing the “traditional and non-traditional” security challenges facing the region as it formally inaugurated a dedicated mission for the 10-member bloc here.
Inaugurating the mission, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India is resolved to match the expectation of its friends in the region to play a “more active role.”
The event was also attended by ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh and Director General I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja. Swaraj said the dedicated Mission reflects India's sincere commitment to intensify its engagement with ASEAN.
“Our officials are currently engaged in drafting the next five year Action Plan for the period 2016-21 for furthering ASEAN-India Cooperation,” she said.
“We would work with our ASEAN colleagues to make it aspirational, yet pragmatic, that will help us realise optimally the potential for sectoral collaboration through a wide array of projects in a spirit of joint partnership and ownership that contributes to mutual learning and benefit,” she added.
The Minister said, “ASEAN lies at the core of India's Act East policy” which focusses on reorienting partnership with East Asian countries in the 21st century context to make it more “pragmatic, action driven and result oriented”.
“We will also be happy to work with the ASEAN member states and other participating countries of East Asia Summit Process to bolster cooperation in collectively addressing the traditional and non traditional security challenges in order to establish peace and stability in the South East Asia and the Greater East Asia region,” said Swaraj, who is here on a five-day trip to attend Asian African conference.
The work till now was handled by the Indian embassy here but with increasing engagement with South East Asia, it was decided in 2013 to have a separate and dedicated diplomatic mission to cater to the growing diplomatic needs.
Last year, Suresh K Reddy, a veteran diplomat, was appointed as Ambassador to the Indian Mission to ASEAN, which is also headquartered here.
The mission works the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and the Secretariat which is located. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.