Manila, November 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday conveyed India’s total support and commitment to work with the East Asia Summit, an influential bloc, to address political, security and trade-related issues in the region.

In an address at the annual gathering of leaders of the grouping in Manila, the prime minister said India was looking forward to a greater role by the East Asia Summit in the region.

“We look forward to the East Asia Summit attaining greater salience in years to come. I reiterate my commitment to work with you to address the political, security and economic issues of the region,” he said.

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

Apart from the 10 ASEAN Member states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States and Russia.

PM Modi said ASEAN began in times of a great global divide, but today, it is shining as a beacon of hope. He described ASEAN as a symbol of peace and prosperity.

The leaders are expected to discuss issues relating to terrorism, a situation in Afghanistan and North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests among others.

Here is the full statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ASEAN Summit: 

I am delighted to be on my first visit to Manila in this landmark 50th year of ASEAN’s establishment.

We are also celebrating 25 years of ASEAN – India dialogue partnership.

I compliment the Philippines for its able stewardship of ASEAN during this significant year and thank you, Mr. President, for the excellent arrangements made for this Summit.

I also thank the honourable Prime Minister of Vietnam for Vietnam’s contribution as Country Coordinator to further strengthen the ASEAN-India partnership.

Excellencies,

ASEAN’s remarkable journey is indeed worthy of reflection as much as it is of celebration.

On this historic occasion, I am confident that ASEAN will further resolve to work together with one vision, one identity and as one independent community.

India’s Act East Policy is shaped around the ASEAN, and its centrality in the regional security architecture of the Indo-Pacific region is evident.

Our wide-ranging agenda of cooperation under the 3rd ASEAN-India Plan of Action has progressed well covering the three crucial pillars of politico-security, economic and cultural partnership.

Excellencies,

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 to further strengthen them.

India assures the ASEAN of its steady support towards achieving a rules-based regional security architecture that best attests to the region’s interests and its peaceful development.

We have individually strived very hard to fight terrorism and violent extremism. It is time that we jointly address this challenge by intensifying cooperation in this crucial area.

Excellencies,

The befitting theme of ‘Shared Values, Common Destiny’ for our 25th-anniversary celebrations has been jointly celebrated with a number of commemorative activities.

I look forward to a befitting culmination of the commemorative year and receiving you at the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit on 25 January 2018 in New Delhi.

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.

I am committed to working with you to realize our common destiny.

(With inputs from PIB)