Prime Minister’s remarks at the 18th East Asia Summit

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Your Excellency President Widodo,
Your Majesty,

It is my pleasure to participate in the “East Asia Summit” once again. I extend my sincere congratulations to President Widodo for his outstanding leadership. Additionally, I warmly welcome His Excellency Xanana Gusmão, the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, as an Observer in this meeting.

The East Asia Summit is a very important platform. It is the only leaders-led mechanism for dialogue and cooperation on strategic matters in the Indo-Pacific region. Additionally, it plays a pivotal role as the primary confidence-building mechanism in Asia. And the key to its success is ASEAN centrality.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, 

India fully supports the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.” There is unison in the vision of India and ASEAN for the Indo-Pacific. This underscores the significance of the ‘East Asia Summit’ as a crucial platform for implementing the “Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.” ASEAN holds a central position in the vision of QUAD. The positive agenda of QUAD complements with the various mechanisms of ASEAN.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, 

The present global landscape is surrounded by challenging circumstances and uncertainties. Terrorism, extremism, and geopolitical conflicts are big challenges for all of us. Multilateralism and rules-based international order are essential in countering them.

It is imperative to adhere fully to international laws; And everyone’s commitment and joint efforts are also necessary to strengthen the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. As I have said before – today’s era is not of war. Dialogue and diplomacy is the only path to resolution.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, 

India’s policy in Myanmar takes into account ASEAN’s views. At the same time, as a neighbouring country, ensuring peace and security on the borders; And enhancing India-ASEAN connectivity is also our focus. Peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, is in the interest of us all.

The need of the hour is such that an Indo-Pacific – where international law, including UNCLOS, is equally applicable to all countries; where there is freedom of navigation and overflight; and where there is unimpeded lawful commerce for the benefit of everyone. India believes that the Code of Conduct for South China Sea should be effective and in accordance with UNCLOS. Additionally, it should take into consideration the interests of countries that are not directly involved in the discussions.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, 

Challenges pertaining to climate change, cyber security, food security, health, and energy are particularly impacting the Global South. During our G20 presidency, we are focusing on these important issues related to the Global South.

Your Majesty, Excellencies, 

I would like to reaffirm India’s commitment to the East Asia Summit process. I extend my heartiest congratulations to the incoming Chair Lao P.D.R. And I assure India’s full support to their presidency.

Thank You.

DISCLAIMER – This is the approximate translation of Prime Minister’s Press Statement. Original Press Statement were delivered in Hindi.