Bangkok, Nov 2: India is seeking to forge international partnerships to combat global and trans-boundary challenges, such as a Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and actively working to promote development partnerships with all its friendly neighbours, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sharing his views on India's role in Asia and the world, ahead of the 35th Asean and Related Summits with a Thai daily, Modi said, "Our mantra is "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas", which means development for all and with the cooperation and trust of everyone.
"And by everyone, we mean not only our own citizens, but the whole of mankind."
He said engagement with 10-member Asean has been, and will remain, a critical element of India's Act East policy and strategy. "Our close civilisational links provide a strong foundation on which we have built a robust, modern and multifaceted strategic partnership. Strengthening Asean, expanding connectivity and deepening India-Asean economic integration are among key priorities of our Act East Policy," he told the Bangkok Post,
On India's role in building a regional security architecture, Modi said that India believed that the regional security architecture for Indo-Pacific region should be open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based, anchored in respect for international law.
A stable maritime security environment in the region, including freedom of navigation and over-flight and unimpeded commerce, in accordance with international law including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, is essential to any regional security architecture.
"We seek to achieve this vision by enhancing mutual trust and expanding security cooperation. India will work towards evolving common perspectives on the regional security architecture and the principles underlining it, and developing a viable institutional framework for addressing common security challenges, building on the existing frameworks and mechanisms."
The prime minister said maritime security, connectivity, economic growth and sustainable development are priority areas both in India's and Asean's approaches to build a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. "We will be glad to work with our partners in Asean to progress partnership in achieving these objectives," said Modi on the synergy between the Indian and Asean perspectives on the Indi-Pacific.
On cooperation in the Mekong subregion where many regional pwers are competing, Modi said India has renewed its maritime, trade, cultural and civilisational links with the countries of the region and forged new regional partnerships.
The establishment of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation initiative 19 years ago is one such step. India recently joined the Thailand-led Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS). Here, it is bringing all the major external partners of the Mekong countries together "to build synergies and avoid duplication of cooperation efforts."
"At the same time, we are also cognisant of the distinctive identities and focus of these regional frameworks... There is ample scope for the multifarious regional groupings in the Mekong sub-region to harmoniously coexist and seek synergy for progress and prosperity of the region and also its external partners." (UNI)