MANILA— Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed his willingness to further intensify security cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
At the 15th ASEAN-India Summit in Manila, Modi said all countries are trying hard to fight terrorism and violent extremism.
He then expressed his firm support to ASEAN’s goal of achieving regional security.
“India shows the ASEAN of its steady support towards achieving the rules-based regional security architecture that best attests to the region’s interest and its peaceful development,” Modi said.
“It is time that we jointly address this challenge by intensifying cooperation in this crucial area and find a joint solution,” he said.
Modi added that he wants to further strengthen economic cooperation with ASEAN.
“Maritime links established thousands of years ago between India and ASEAN countries have enabled our trade relations in the past and we have to work closely together to further strengthen them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi invited the ASEAN leaders to the culmination of the 25th anniversary celebration of the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit on January 25, 2018 in New Delhi.
“India and the people of India are looking forward to receiving you for this historic occasion. The 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN leaders as our chief guests at India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations,” he said.
For his part, President Rodrigo Duterte, chairman of the 31st ASEAN Summit, thanked India for the commemorative activities that India held which highlighted the historical economic and cultural ties that bind ASEAN and India.
“Prime Minister Modi said that nations cannot progress unless they value and cherish their history and heritage,” Duterte said.
“This is reminiscent of the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, who regarded the people’s past as the key to their future,” he added.