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India seeks greater connectedness with the ASEAN: Jaishankar at ministerial meeting in Bangkok

The indo-pacific concept is expected to dominate conversations in Bangkok as Delhi and Washington are keen on it and ASEAN has also issued its outlook on it. Photograph:( WION )

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 01, 2019, 12.40 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

Calling ASEAN grouping a "critical element of India's act east policy and strategy", External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar said, "acting east is also implementing our Indo-Pacific outlook" and "its logical extrapolation."

Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Bangkok, was speaking at the ASEAN-India ministerial meeting. India's "act east" policy that evolved from the "look east" policy call for greater engagement with ASEAN countries. 

Talking about connectivity, he said, "India seeks greater connect with the ASEAN region. We envision connectivity within the region in very broad terms including physical, economic and political and close contact at people to people level."

"The historic, cultural, economic political that have existed between India and ASEAN region are the stepping stones to achieve the vision of a more connected India and ASEAN region and a closer partnership," he added.

The ASEAN-India ministerial meeting which was co-chaired by EAM and Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai also reviewed progress on implementation of decisions between ASEAN and India during the 25th Anniversary ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit held in New Delhi on January 25, 2018. 

The indo-pacific concept is expected to dominate conversations in Bangkok as Delhi and Washington are keen on it and ASEAN has also issued its outlook on it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken about India's vision Indo-pacific concept last year at Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore and this year in Maldivian parliament and said New Delhi is vision is an inclusive one. 

Jaishankar will also participate in East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (EAS FMM), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) ministerial Meeting.

Earlier in the day, he met Thailand foreign minister and ASEAN Chair Don Pramudwinai,  and New Zealand finance minister Winston peter. 

He is expected to meet US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo. This will be the first high-level engagement between Indian and American after US President Donald Trump said that he was willing to mediate between Indian and Pakistan on Kashmir issue.

The comments were dismissed by New Delhi who said all issues between India and Pakistan can only be resolved bilaterally in accordance with Shimla and Lahore agreements which do not allow 3rd party mediation.

Story highlights

Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Bangkok, was speaking at the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting. India's "act east" policy that evolved from the "look east" policy call for greater engagement with ASEAN countries.