India's massive outreach begins; PM Modi holds bilateral meet with ASEAN leaders

India and Myanmar on Wednesday discussed ties in a meeting between PM Modi and Aung San Suu Kyi.

India's massive outreach begins; PM Modi holds bilateral meet with ASEAN leaders
Pic courtesy: @BJPLive

New Delhi: Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were among the ASEAN leaders who arrived in the national capital on Wednesday for the Commemorative India-ASEAN summit.

The summit marks 25 years of the India-ASEAN dialogue partnership. All the 10 ASEAN leaders will also be the chief guests at the Republic Day parade.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar posted a series of tweets on the arrival of these leaders.

"India welcomes Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Madame Tran Nguyen Thu for the ASEAN-India commemorative summit. Warmly received by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh," he tweeted.

While Aung San Suu Kyi was received by Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Anupriya Patel, Thailand prime minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife Naraporn Chan-o- cha were welcomed by Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, Kumar said.

President of Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte was also received by Satyapal Singh.

Meanwhile, amid the Rohingya refugee crisis, India and Myanmar on Wednesday discussed ties in a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

Also, India and Vietnam signed agreements in the areas of information and broadcasting, and space cooperation following a bilateral meeting between PM Modi and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

PM Modi also met President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.

The summit will begin from Thursday. There will be a leaders' retreat during which the leaders will have a "free and frank" discussion on January 25, 2018. The theme of the retreat session is 'maritime cooperation and security'.

Following the retreat, a plenary session will be held on the same day, PTI reported.

ASEAN comprises Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

Need to propagate India-ASEAN special ties among youth: Swaraj

Meanwhile, highlighting the strong cultural bonds between India and ASEAN countries, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said on Tuesday that there was a need to propagate this "special relationship" amongst the youth of both the regions.

There are mainly two things that connect India with ASEAN, one is Buddhism and the other is Ramayana, she had said.

"From the government of India's side, we would like to institutionalise the relationship through a permanent mechanism so that the youth of ASEAN countries can partake our cultural and religious ethos and become true ambassadors of India in their countries," the EAM had said. 

Swaraj had also said that  India cannot become a member of ASEAN because of geographical reason as this grouping is of South East Asian nations while India lies in South Asia.

She had added that the cultural bonds between India and ASEAN countries were centuries old and the "onus was on us to propagate this special relationship amongst the youth in both the regions."

(With PTI inputs)

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