PM urges India to continue supporting ASEAN efforts toward East Sea stability

Thursday, 2021-10-28 17:16:48
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PM Pham Minh Chinh at the 18th ASEAN - India Summit (Photo: Tran Hai)
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NDO/VNA - Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on October 18 called on India to continue supporting and actively contributing to ASEAN’s efforts to maintain peace, security, and stability in the East Sea/South China Sea.

Attending the 18th ASEAN - India Summit via videoconference, the Vietnamese leader also asked for India’s support for ASEAN endeavours to uphold international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and peacefully settle disputes and differences through dialogue and diplomatic processes so as to ensure that the East Sea is a sea of peace, cooperation, and development.

He said ASEAN and India are long-standing partners and close-knit neighbours who share common interests and responsibility in contributing to regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

He urged both sides to assist each other in COVID-19 response and sustainable recovery. He asked India to actively help ASEAN countries develop the pharmaceutical industry, gain sufficient and timely access to sources of COVID-19 vaccines and drugs, and transfer the vaccine and drug production technology.

The PM highlighted the need for stronger maritime cooperation to guarantee navigation security and safety, conserve the marine environment and ecology, increase sea rescue, and combat illegal fishing and piracy.

Meanwhile, Indian PM Narendra Modi underlined that his country treasures the strategic partnership with ASEAN, which holds a special position in its Act East policy.

India supports ASEAN’s centrality and pledges to effectively participate in ASEAN-led cooperation and dialogue mechanisms and uphold international law, promote a rules-based regional order, actively contributing to peace, security, stability and development in the region, he noted.

He affirmed the support for ASEAN’s stance on promoting dialogue and trust building, fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and building an efficient and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters that is in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

Modi added India welcomes and support the bloc’s role in fostering dialogue and reconciliation in Myanmar and helping this country seek solutions to stabilise its situation.

At the summit, participants highly valued the relations between ASEAN and India, which is the sixth largest trade partner of ASEAN and ranks seventh among investors in this bloc.

The two sides agreed to continue assisting each other in pandemic response and stepping up comprehensive recovery through increasing bilateral trade and investment, consolidating regional supply chains, facilitating trade and goods flows, helping businesses access each other’s markets, and fruitfully carrying out the ASEAN - India Free Trade Area.

Concluding the event, they adopted an ASEAN - India joint statement on cooperation in implementing the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.