ASEAN leaders arrive for R-Day parade

ANI | Updated: Jan 26, 2018 10:23 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 26 (ANI): Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders have arrived for the Republic Day parade at Rajpath here on Friday.

For the first time ever, leaders of 10 ASEAN countries - Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei have graced the Republic Day parade as chief guests in the national capital.

The parade ceremony commenced at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, where the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath.

An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of the Armed Forces personnel, who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the motherland. The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier's helmet.

On Thursday, India and the 10-member ASEAN agreed to further strengthen the economic relations amongst themselves.

The leaders agreed to "strengthen ASEAN-India economic relations, including through the full utilisation and effective implementation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area, and intensify efforts in 2018 toward the swift conclusion of a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)."

India hosted a two-day India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit which is expected to give a boost to the cooperation in key areas of counter-terrorism, security and connectivity.

The summit marks 25 years of Indo-ASEAN ties. (ANI)

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