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New Delhi's Look East policy key to strong ASEAN-India strategic partnership, says Sushma Swaraj

Saturday, 9 August 2014 - 5:38pm IST | Place: Naypyidaw (Burma) | Agency: ANI

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday that the ASEAN-India strategic partnership owes its strength to the fact that New Delhi's Look East policy meets ASEAN's Look West policy.

Addressing the 12th India-ASEAN Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, she congratulated Myanmar for being in a position to hold such an event.

She said, "The ASEAN-India strategic partnership owes its strength to the fact that our 'Look East' to ASEAN meets your 'Look West' towards India. There is synergy and a sense of fraternity in our partnership, as we look towards a shared future of peace and stability, economic growth and prosperity in our region."

Speaking of future plans, she said "To the 5 Ts of the Government of India – Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology, I would like to reiterate the value of a 'C' before them all in foreign policy – the 'C' of connectivity in all its dimensions, geographic, institutional and people-to-people. I would like this 'C' of connectivity to translate into tangible and urgent action on the ground, bringing our capacities together to mutual benefit."

Elaborating on it, she said, "We have an impressive array of 26 cross-sectoral annual dialogue mechanisms between ASEAN and India. We should soon be drafting our next Plan of Action for 2016-2021. The Vision Statement and the Report to the Leaders by the ASEAN India Eminent Persons Group are good reference points but our interpretation of these needs to be grounded in the geo-political realities of today and the common aspirations of our people for growth and development."

Swaraj also assured that the new government in India would like to stand with them, taking the trajectories of common interests higher in the coming years, both in terms of achievement and relevance to the bilateral ASEAN+1 relationship and of the multilateral ambition at the regional and global levels.




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