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Modi says 'cohesive and responsive' ASEAN essential for growth, security of region
New Delhi, November 12, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that India firmly believed that a "cohesive and responsive" ASEAN was essential for security and growth for all in the region.
In his remarks at the 17th India-ASEAN Virtual Summit, Modi said there was ample closeness between India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative andn ASEAN's Outlook on Indo-Pacific.
He said that India and ASEAN's Strategic Partnership is based on their shared rich historical, geographical and cultural heritage. "The ASEAN Group is the nodal centre of our Act East Policy since the very beginning," he pointed out.
"Speeding up all types of connectivity initiatives between India and ASEAN - physical, economic, social, digital, financial, maritime - is the top priority for us," he said.
"Like every year, we could not take our traditional Family Photo by holding each other's hand! But still I am happy that we all are meeting via virtual medium.
"First of all, I have all praise for Vietnam, the current Chair of ASEAN, and Thailand, India's current country coordinator in ASEAN. Despite the COVID led painful problems, you have fulfilled your responsibilities well.
"We have come very close in all these areas in the last few years. I believe that today's interaction, even if it is happening via virtual medium, will be advantageous in further reducing our differences," Modi added.