Sushma Swaraj: Relations with ASEAN key priority for India

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New Delhi | Updated: January 5, 2018 6:57:12 PM

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj started the second leg of her visit to Southeast Asian countries today as she landed in Indonesia for a two-day visit.

Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, asean countries sushma swaraj, sushma swaraj asean, sushma swaraj indonesia, indonesia finance ministerExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi. (Twitter)

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj started the second leg of her visit to Southeast Asian countries today as she landed in Indonesia for a two-day visit. On reaching Jakarta, Swaraj praised Indonesia’s contribution in the Indo-Pacific region. “Indonesia, as one of the largest countries, the most diverse democracy and the biggest economy in ASEAN region has a critical role to play in the evolution of the new security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region”, tweeted Swaraj.

Earlier in the day, Swaraj co-chaired the 5th meeting of the India-Indonesia Joint Commission with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi. Leaders reviewed trade, energy ties, defence cooperation and people to people links. “External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj had a tête-à-tête with Retno Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia ahead of the India-Indonesia Joint Commission Meeting in Jakarta. Reaffirmed our desire to enhance partnership across all sectors”, Raveesh Kumar, the Ministry of External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, tweeted after the meeting. Sushma Swaraj reiterated the fact that relations with the ASEAN countries is a key priority for India. “For India, relations with ASEAN Region is a key priority. It is at the core of our Act East Policy,” tweeted Swaraj in Jakarta.

Swaraj, who arrived in Jakarta, from Thailand received a warm welcome in Indonesian tradition. She then met Indonesian Vice-President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla. “Engaging discussion on strengthening our strategic partnership, EAM @SushmaSwaraj called on Vice-President of Indonesia, Mr Muhammad Jusuf Kalla #ActEastPolicy,” Raveesh Kumar tweeted. Swaraj will also call on Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and have other official engagements, including an interaction with the representatives of the Indian community. “I express my appreciation that President Joko Widodo accepted PM Modi’s invitation to join ASEAN special commemorative summit as Guest of Honor at India’s Republic Day celebrations along with other ASEAN Heads of States & Heads of Govts in New Delhi”, Swaraj tweeted today.

Along with Foreign Minister Retno, Sushma Swaraj will jointly inaugurate the ASEAN India Think Tanks Forum tomorrow. This Forum will bring key thinkers of India and all the ASEAN countries under one roof to brainstorm on pressing challenges and future orientation of our engagement. She added that both nations agreed to enhance consultations and cooperation on maritime issues including on UNCLOS with a view to strengthen rule of law and to ensure the freedom of navigation and safety of sea lanes of communication.

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