New Delhi : This year too, we have not been able to take our traditional family photo, but virtually, we have maintained the continuity of the tradition of ASEAN-India summit. I congratulate His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei for his successful presidency of ASEAN in 2021.
We all faced a lot of challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But this challenging time in a way was also the test of India-ASEAN friendship. Our mutual cooperation and mutual sympathy since Covid times will continue to strengthen our relationship in future and will be the basis of goodwill among our people. History is witness that India and ASEAN have had vibrant relations for thousands of years. This is also reflected in our shared values, traditions, languages, texts, architecture, culture, cuisine etc. And therefore, the unity and centrality of ASEAN has always been an important priority for India.This special role of ASEAN, India’s Act East Policy which is contained in our Security and Growth for All in the Region i.e. “SAGAR” policy. India’s Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative and ASEAN’s Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for our shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The year 2022 will mark the completion of 30 years of our partnership. India will also complete seventy-five years of its independence. I am very happy that we will celebrate this important milestone as the ‘Year of ASEAN-India Friendship’. India is committed to further strengthen ties under the forthcoming Presidency of Cambodia and our Country Coordinator, Singapore. Now I look forward to hearing your views.
Thanks a lot!