In­dia, ASEAN must fight ter­ror to­gether: Modi

The Hitavada - - FRONT PAGE -

BACK­ING a rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on Tues­day favoured In­dia and the ASEAN group­ing com­ing to­gether for a joint fight against ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

He also said In­dia’s Act

East Pol­icy is shaped around the ASEAN and its cen­tral­ity in the re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture of the In­doPa­cific 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 co-op­er­a­tion in this cru­cial area,” Modi said, ad­dress­ing the 15th In­di­aAs­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) Sum­mit here at­tended by lead­ers of Brunei, Cam­bo­dia, In­done­sia, Laos, Malaysia, Myan­mar, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and Viet­nam be­sides host Philip­pines.

This year marks the 25th an­niver­sary of the In­di­aASEAN di­a­logue part­ner­ship and the 50th an­niver­sary of the for­ma­tion of ASEAN. “ASEAN’s re­mark­able jour­ney is in­deed wor­thy of re­flec­tion as much as it is of cel­e­bra­tion,” Modi said. “On this his­toric oc­ca­sion, I am con­fi­dent that ASEAN will fur­ther re­solve to work to­gether with one vi­sion, one iden­tity and as one in­de­pen­dent com­mu­nity.” The Prime Min­is­ter said that In­dia’s Act East Pol­icy is “shaped around the ASEAN, and its cen­tral­ity in the re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture of the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion is ev­i­dent.”

“Our wide-rang­ing agenda of co-op­er­a­tion un­der the Third ASEAN-In­dia Plan of Ac­tion has pro­gressed well cov­er­ing the three cru­cial pil­lars of politico-se­cu­rity, eco­nomic and cul­tural part­ner­ship,” he stated. “Mar­itime links estab­lished thou­sands of years ago be­tween In­dia and ASEAN coun­tries have en­abled our trade re­la­tions in the past and we have to work closely to fur­ther strengthen them.”

Modi as­sured ASEAN of In­dia’s sup­port to­wards achiev­ing a rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture that best at­tested to the re­gion’s in­ter­ests and its peace­ful de­vel­op­ment.

He con­cluded by say­ing the 1.25 bil­lion peo­ple of In­dia were keen to wel­come the ASEAN lead­ers as chief guests at next year’s Repub­lic Day Cel­e­bra­tions.

Ear­lier in the day, Modi ad­dressed the 12th East Asia Sum­mit, a premier fo­rum of the ASEAN mem­ber States and eight other coun­tries. “We look for­ward to the East Asia Sum­mit at­tain­ing greater salience in years to come,” he said in his re­marks. “I re­it­er­ate my com­mit­ment to work with you to ad­dress the po­lit­i­cal, se­cu­rity and eco­nomic is­sues of the re­gion.”

Lead­ers of the 10 ASEAN mem­ber States and of Aus­tralia, China, In­dia, Ja­pan, New Zealand, Rus­sia, South Korea and the US hold this an­nual sum­mit.

The fo­rum pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for the lead­ers to ex­change views and as­sess in­ter­na­tional is­sues of con­cern, in­clud­ing tra­di­tional and non-tra­di­tional se­cu­rity threats, pri­mar­ily ter­ror­ism, mar­itime co-op­er­a­tion and se­cu­rity and non-pro­lif­er­a­tion.

Fol­low­ing the East Asia Sum­mit, four out­come doc­u­ments were re­leased: on coun­ter­ing ide­o­log­i­cal chal­lenges of ter­ror­ism, ter­ror­ist nar­ra­tives and pro­pa­ganda; on anti-money laun­der­ing and coun­ter­ing fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism; on co-op­er­a­tion in poverty al­le­vi­a­tion; and on chem­i­cal weapons.

Lead­ers from the ASEAN and their Di­a­logue Part­ners which com­prises the East Asia Sum­mit chat fol­low­ing a group photo ses­sion at the 31st ASEAN Sum­mit on Tues­day in Manila, Philip­pines. From left, US State Sec­re­tary Rex Tiller­son, rep­re­sent­ing US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, New Zealand Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern, In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, Chi­nese Premier Li Ke­qiang, Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, Sin­ga­porean Prime Min­is­ter Lee Hsien Loong, Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull, Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe. (AP/PTI)

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