Press Trust of india

India, ASEAN looking at boosting maritime security ties at summit talks

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will review progress of India’s relations with 10-nation ASEAN at a summit meeting in Jakarta on Thursday.

Shoring up India’s trade and security ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is likely to be the focus of Modi’s engagement with leaders of the bloc.

The ASEAN-India Summit will be the first summit since the elevation of ties between the two sides to a comprehensive strategic partnership last year.

The two sides are expected to unveil a new initiative to expand maritime security cooperation, people familiar with the matter said.

The prime minister will also attend the East Asia Summit that will take place shortly after the end of the ASEAN-India summit.

Modi will leave for the Indonesian capital city on Wednesday evening and will return late on Thursday, Secretary of State (East) Saurabh Kumar said.

It will be a brief visit by the prime minister to Jakarta as he has to return home for the G20 summit, Kumar said, adding no bilateral meetings are scheduled on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia summits.

The member countries of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The ties between India and ASEAN have been on a significant upswing in the last few years with focus being on boosting cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence.

The 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.

The ASEAN-India dialogue relations started with the establishment of sectoral partnership in 1992 which graduated to full dialogue partnership in December 1995 and summit level partnership in 2002.

The ties were elevated to strategic partnership in 2012. The ASEAN is central to India’s Act East Policy and its vision for the wider Indo-Pacific. The ASEAN comprises Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar.

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