India fully supports a strong and unified ASEAN: Foreign Minister

India fully supports a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN whose centrality in the Indo-Pacific is fully recognised, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday at a conclave of foreign ministers from the influential group of 10 nations.

In his keynote speech at the two-day gathering, Jaishankar said a better-connected India and ASEAN would be well placed to promote decentralized globalization and resilient and reliable supply chains.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region, and India and several other countries, including the United States, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners.

Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said it has not fully subsided and there is still a long way to go as “we move towards post-pandemic recovery”.

“This path has become even more arduous with the geopolitical headwinds we face due to developments in Ukraine and their impact on food and energy security, as well as fertilizer and commodity prices, and disruptions in logistics and supply chain,” he said.

Jaishankar said there is a strong convergence between ASEAN’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific and India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and this is testimony to the shared vision of both parties for the region.

“India-ASEAN relations must respond to the world we face,” he said, noting that ASEAN has always been a beacon of regionalism, multilateralism and globalization.

Jaishankar said ASEAN has successfully carved out a niche for itself in the region and laid the foundation for the changing strategic and economic architecture in the Indo-Pacific.

ASEAN’s role today is perhaps more important than ever given the geopolitical challenges and uncertainties facing the world, he said.

The foreign minister said it was important to identify a new set of priorities by India and ASEAN while ensuring the timely realization of ongoing initiatives.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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