External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will represent India at a virtual summit of the East Asia Summit (EAS) on Saturday. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made the announcement about Jaishankar's participation in the 15th summit of the grouping.
The summit will be chaired by Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and will see participation from all the 18 EAS countries, the MEA said. The East Asia Summit is the premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region to deal with issues relating security and defence. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia.
The MEA said the summit will discuss ways and means to strengthen the EAS platform and to make it more responsive to emerging challenges on its 15th anniversary. "The leaders will also exchange views on issues of international and regional interest including the COVID-19 pandemic and the cooperation among EAS participating countries to achieve an expeditious and sustainable economic recovery," the MEA said. "The East Asia Summit is a premier leaders-led forum for discussions on important strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific, and a leading confidence-building mechanism in the region," it said.
The MEA said India strongly believes that the ASEAN-led frameworks of which EAS is an important part are at the core of the regional security architecture and need to be strengthened further. Apart from the 10 ASEAN member states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.