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In a first, New Delhi to host Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting next week

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the 18th India-ASEAN Summit held virtually in October, last year. ASEAN is central to India's 'Act East' policy and PM Modi's vision for the wider Indo-Pacific (File image courtesy: PIB)

India will host the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting (SAIFMM) on June 16-17 to mark the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations and the 10th anniversary of its Strategic Partnership with ASEAN. External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar and Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who is also India's Country Coordinator, will co-chair the meeting. Foreign Ministers of other ASEAN Member State and ASEAN Secretary General will participate in the SAIFMM. The year 2022 has been designated as ASEAN-India Friendship Year.

The ASEAN-India dialogue relations started with the establishment of sectoral partnership in 1992 which graduated to full dialogue partnership in December 1995, Summit level Partnership in 2002, and Strategic partnership in 2012. Today, ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership stands on a strong foundation.

ASEAN is central to India's 'Act East' policy and its vision for the wider Indo-Pacific. This multi-faceted partnership encompasses many sectoral dialogue mechanisms and working groups that meet regularly at various levels and include annual Summit, Ministerial and Senior Officials’ meetings. The ongoing India-ASEAN collaboration is guided by the Plan of Action 2021-2025 which was adopted in 2020.

While ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM), hosted by ASEAN Chair, is an annual event, the SAIFMM would be the first ASEAN-India FMM to be hosted by India in New Delhi. It will be preceded by the 24th ASEAN-India Senior Officials' Meeting on June 15.

The SAIFMM will be accompanied by the 12th edition of Delhi Dialogue, a premier Tack 1.5 Dialogue in ASEAN-India calendar, which will be hosted by India on June 16-17. The theme of DD-XII is 'Building Bridges in the Indo-Pacific'. The ministerial session of DD-XII will be attended by EAM and the ASEAN ministers.

Meanwhile, Secretary (East), Saurabh Kumar participated in the virtual ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials’ Meeting (ARF SOM) held today which was attended by senior officials of the ARF member states and chaired by Cambodia as the Chairperson of ASEAN.

The meeting reviewed activities and exchanges of the 27 member ARF over the past year and deliberated on its future plans and activities. Senior officials exchanged views on regional and international developments, and on Covid-19 pandemic, terrorism, maritime and cyber security.

India's Secretary (East) appreciated the role of ASEAN-led architecture particularly the ARF in advancing peace, security, and cooperation in the region. Recognizing the evolving traditional and non-traditional threats in the maritime domain, he emphasised the convergence between the ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) and Indo-Pacific policies announced by several ARF countries. He also shared our perspectives on the threat posed by terrorism and the challenges of cyber security.

In the current inter-sessional year, Australia, India and Indonesia co-chaired an ARF workshop on 'Law of the Sea and Fisheries' held last December while India, the US, and Indonesia co-chaired the 13th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security on May 12. India seeks to continue to contribute to ARF activities and processes in the next inter-sessional year.

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