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India-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Will Set Tone for Indo-Pacific Region: VK Singh

Speaking at the track 1.5 event, Delhi Dialogue, MoS External Affairs VK Singh said that the government’s Act East Policy was a leap forward than the Look East policy.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:July 19, 2018, 11:57 AM IST
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India-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Will Set Tone for Indo-Pacific Region: VK Singh
File photo of Union Minister VK Singh.
New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said the fast emerging martime cooperation between India and ASEAN would set the tone for growth in the Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking at the track 1.5 event, Delhi Dialogue, MoS External Affairs VK Singh said that the government’s Act East Policy was a leap forward than the Look East policy.

“We have evolved to include various pillars of ASEAN India relations. Act East policy is wider in scope and geographically too,” he added.

Singh’s statement takes a cue from his government’s efforts over the last four years where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought to assert an expanded security role for India in the Indo-Pacific, actively courting the 10-member ASEAN and gradually stepping up naval activity across the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Singh further said the government under PM Modi is working towards making foreign policy an integral part of national political discourse.

Singh further said the “government was looking at a new paradigm where foreign policy initiatives seep into domestic politics especially the northeastern states.”

“The inclusive development of the northeast is a priority of our government. Providing connectivity between the northeast and ASEAN countries is important for us. The northeast has the potential to become a hub for organic production,” the minister said.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma voiced his concerns over issues of procuring a visa in the northeastern states. “Even now we have to go to Kolkata. I would like to pitch for different countries to have consulates in different cities of the northeast. Also, I would like to push for more foreign language schools and institutes in the region,” he added.

Pushing for all northeast chief ministers to travel together to different countries, he asked the MEA to either let them travel by road or air. "It will give out a very strong message,” he said.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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