Vientiane (Laos): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asserted that Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is central to India's 'Act East' Policy.
Expressing happiness over taking part in the ASEAN summit for the third time, PM Modi said, "he was delighted to renew close bonds of friendship with ASEAN."
"India's engagement engagement is driven by common priorities, bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the region," PM Modi said.
Emphasising on the need to enhance connectivity with the ASEAN nations, PM Modi said the engagement was driven by linking our economic success and development experiences.
He stressed on fighting terrorism unitedly. “Export of terror, growing radicalisation and spread of extreme violence are common security threats to our societies,” the PM asserted.
"The threat is local, regional, and transitional at the same time. Our partnership with ASEAN seeks to craft a response through coordination, cooperation at multiple levels," Modi said.
He said that in the face of growing traditional and non traditional challenges, political cooperation was a key emerging in our relations.
"We are willing to take concrete steps to enhance cooperation in cyber security, de-radicalisation and counterterrorism," he added.
He proposed a joint task force on connectivity to work on extension of India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, while also proposing to enhance the ASEAN-India Fund with an additional grant of USD 50 million.
Modi declared that India supports the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
"Sea lanes are life lines of global trade. India supports freedom of navigation based on ÚNCLOS," he added.
Concluding his speech, the PM proposed to host Commemorative Summit on the theme “Shared Values, Common Destiny” in 2017.