‘In­dia, Asean should bat­tle to­gether against ter­ror­ism’

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTNATION - Agen­cies let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

We have in­di­vid­u­ally strived hard to fight ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism... It is time that we jointly ad­dress this chal­lenge by in­ten­si­fy­ing co­op­er­a­tion. NAREN­DRA MODI, Prime Min­is­ter

MANILA: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Tues­day made a strong pitch for a “rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture” as he called for In­dia and mem­ber states of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (Asean) to mount a joint bat­tle against ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

Modi also held talks on the mar­gins of the Asean Sum­mit with his Ja­panese and Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts on forg­ing a new strat­egy for the Indo-pa­cific re­gion against the back­drop of the three coun­tries work­ing with the United States to forge a quadri­lat­eral al­liance.

Modi also had a brief in­ter­ac­tion with Chi­nese Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang on the side­lines of the East Asia Sum­mit though a few de­tails emerged of their dis­cus­sions. Modi and Li also had a brief con­ver­sa­tion dur­ing a din­ner hosted by Philip­pines Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte on Sun­day.

Ad­dress­ing the In­dia-asean Sum­mit, Modi said In­dia’s Act East Pol­icy is shaped around Asean, whose “cen­tral­ity in the re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture of Indo-pa­cific re­gion is ev­i­dent”.

“We have in­di­vid­u­ally strived very hard to fight ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism. It is time that we jointly ad­dress this chal­lenge by in­ten­si­fy­ing co­op­er­a­tion in this cru­cial area,” he told the gath­er­ing that in­cluded the lead­ers of Brunei, Cam­bo­dia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myan­mar, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land, Viet­nam, and host Philip­pines.

“In­dia as­sures the Asean of its steady sup­port to­wards achiev­ing a rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture that best at­tests to the re­gion’s in­ter­ests and its peace­ful de­vel­op­ment,” he added.

Not­ing that this year marks the 25th an­niver­sary of the In­di­aAsean di­a­logue part­ner­ship, Modi said, “Our wide-rang­ing agenda of co­op­er­a­tion un­der the Third Asean-in­dia Plan of Ac­tion has pro­gressed well cov­er­ing the three cru­cial pil­lars of politico-se­cu­rity, eco­nomic and cul­tural part­ner­ship.”

Modi’s meet­ings with Ja­pan PM Shinzo Abe and Aus­tralian PM Mal­colm Turn­bull came a day af­ter his talks with US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on in­ten­si­fy­ing and de­fence and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the Indo-pa­cific. On Sun­day, of­fi­cials of In­dia, Aus­tralia, Ja­pan and the US held their first meet­ing to give shape to for­malise the quadri­lat­eral al­liance to keep the Indo-pa­cific “free and open”.

The is­sue is un­der­stood to have fig­ured in Modi’s talks with Abe and Turn­bull.

“My friend @Abesh­inzo and I had an ex­cel­lent meet­ing in Manila. We re­viewed the ground cov­ered on var­i­ous as­pects of In­dia-ja­pan ties and dis­cussed ways to deepen co­op­er­a­tion be­tween our economies and peo­ple,” Modi tweeted.

Ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry spokesper­son Raveesh Ku­mar said the two lead­ers held a “wide rang­ing” dis­cus­sion on in­ten­si­fy­ing the Special Strate­gic and Global Part­ner­ship be­tween the two coun­tries.

Modi also held bi­lat­eral meet­ings with Viet­namese Pre­mier Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Sul­tan Has­sanal Bolkiah of Brunei and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern.


Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in­ter­acts with his Ja­panese coun­ter­part, Shinzo Abe, at the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Lead­ers’ Meet­ing, in Manila, Philip­pines, on Tues­day.

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