Manila, Nov 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday invited ASEAN nation heads to attend next year’s Republic Day celebrations and gave a clarion call to all member nations to join India to fight the terror menace jointly.
He said his Government’s ‘Act East Policy’ was essentially guided by the commitment to lay special focus on the ASEAN region.
Modi pointed out that basically all countries in ASEAN and also India has always “dealt” with the terror threats.
So there is a need for a concerted work to fight the menace in an unity of purpose,” he said. “Now time has come when to deal with this importance challenge (terror), we enhance mutual cooperation.
This challenge needs to be faced with firmly and also solution evolved by joint efforts,” Modi said in his address at the 31st ASEAN Summit here.
He maintained that the group’s significance has increased manifold on the context of security scenario in the Indo-Pacific region. Modi said,
“Under the ASEAN-India plan of action, mutual cooperation agenda in effect lays emphasis on politico-security, economic and cultural partnership”.
He said India and ASEAN countries due to their maritime connectivity had been enjoying a good trade relations from thousands of years back. “We have to come together and make this further strong,” Modi said.
Stressing on the importance of general goodness and peace in the region, he said, “rule of law” should prevail especially in the context of regional security.
“Ismey Bharat ASEAN ko apna samarthan jari rakhega (For this, India will continue to extend all kinds of support and assistance to ASEAN member nations),” Prime Minister said.
He said ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership also focuses on “shared values” and this is most appropriate. “We have made several efforts on this jointly…and I believe this year too it will be great and highly helpful. On January 25, 2018, in Delhi we will host a India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit.
All of you are invited for that mega event,” Prime Minister said. “I will be more than keen to welcome you all for the same personally,” he said. At the same time, Modi said, he would also extend invitation to all ASEAN nation heads to attend the 69th Anniversary Function of Indian Republic Day the next day.
“All of you will be special guests for the show and 125 crore Indians would be waiting for you all,” he said.