Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar will attend the ASEAN-India summit in Cambodia this week, which is expected to review the status of the strategic partnership between the two sides and take stock of the cooperation in the areas of trade, investment and connectivity.
Dhankhar will also represent India at the 17th East Asia Summit during his three-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation beginning Friday, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The MEA on Monday said the vice president will be accompanied by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his visit to Cambodia.
The ministry said during his visit from November 11 to 13, Dhankhar will also have bilateral engagements with the Cambodian leadership, besides holding meetings with leaders from several other countries.
While the ASEAN-India summit will take place on November 12, the East Asia Summit will be held on November 13.
The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit is taking place amid a geopolitical turmoil triggered by the Ukraine conflict and China’s military muscle-flexing in the Taiwan Straits.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually attended the annual ASEAN-India summit as well as the East Asia Summit in October last year.
“Vice President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar will visit Cambodia from November 11 to 13 to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the 17th East Asia Summit,” the MEA said in a statement.
Cambodia is hosting these summits in its capacity as the current chair of the ASEAN.
“The vice president will attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in Phnom Penh on November 12. This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is being celebrated as the ASEAN-India Friendship year,” the MEA said.
The ties between India and the 10-nation grouping are on an upswing in the last few years. Both sides also have a strong convergence on the vision of a free and peaceful Indo-Pacific.
India and several other countries, including the United States, China, Japan and Australia, are dialogue partners of the ASEAN.
The ASEAN-India dialogue relations started with the establishment of a sectoral partnership in 1992. This graduated to a full dialogue partnership in December 1995 and a summit-level partnership in 2002.
The ties were elevated to a strategic partnership in 2012.
The ASEAN comprises Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar.
The East Asia Summit is the premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region to deal with issues relating to security and defence. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia.
Apart from the ASEAN member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Russia.
“During his visit, the vice president will also have bilateral engagements with the Cambodian leadership. On the margins of the summits, he will hold bilateral meetings with leaders from other countries as well,” the MEA said.
“While returning from Phnom Penh, the vice president will also visit Siem Reap to review the preservation and restoration work being undertaken by India at Cambodian heritage sites,” it added.