At East Asia Summit, PM Modi Reaffirms India's Focus On Free, Open And Inclusive Indo-PacificPM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (27 October) said India remained committed to strengthening respect for shared values of multilateralism, rules-based international order, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.

In a virtual address at the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS), Modi also reaffirmed India's focus on a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and support for ASEAN's centrality in the region.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the prime minister highlighted India's efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccines and medical supplies besides speaking about the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' campaign for post-pandemic recovery and ensuring resilient global value chains.

It said he emphasised on the establishment of a better balance between economy and ecology and climate sustainable lifestyle.

"Participated in the 16th East Asia Summit hosted by Brunei through video conference. Re-affirmed India's focus on a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and the principle of ASEAN Centrality in the region," Modi tweeted.

"India remains committed to strengthening respect for shared values of multilateralism, rules-based international order, international law and sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. I look forward to participating in the 18th ASEAN-India Summit tomorrow," he said.

Apart from the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.

The summit saw the participation of leaders from almost all member countries.

"The 16th EAS also discussed important regional and international issues including Indo-Pacific, South China Sea, UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea), terrorism, and the situation in Korean Peninsula and Myanmar," the MEA said in a statement.

It said Modi reaffirmed 'ASEAN centrality in the Indo-Pacific and highlighted the synergies between ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI).

The prime minister also underlined the importance of the EAS as the premier leaders-led forum in Indo-Pacific, bringing together nations to discuss important strategic issues.

It is learnt that Modi emphasised on the importance of a resilient global value chain and reiterated India's commitment to providing Quad-sponsored COVID-19 vaccines to Indo-Pacific countries.

He also recalled India's support of $1 million to the ASEAN COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

The prime minister also raised the idea of developing global standards on cyber security.

The MEA said the EAS leaders adopted three statements on mental health, economic recovery through tourism and sustainable recovery, which have been co-sponsored by India.

"Overall, the Summit saw a fruitful exchange of views between the prime minister and other EAS leaders," it said.

The East Asia Summit is the premier leaders-led forum in the Indo-Pacific. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic and geopolitical evolution of East Asia.

The ASEAN-India virtual summit on Thursday is expected to carry out a comprehensive review of ties between the two sides.

The 10-nation ASEAN is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region, and India and several other countries including the US, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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