EAM Sushma Swaraj
EAM Sushma Swaraj

Indo-Pacific meet stands for security, growth: Swaraj

ANI | Updated: Jul 20, 2018 00:49 IST

New Delhi [India], July 19 (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said India's interests in the Indo-Pacific meet stands for security and growth for all in the region.
"India's interests in the Indo-Pacific are vast and our engagement is deep. Our vision, in one word, is SAGAR which stands for - Security and Growth for All in the Region. We have a comprehensive agenda of regional cooperation with both IORA and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)," Swaraj said while addressing the 10th edition of the Delhi Dialogue (DD X) here.
The theme of this year's DD X is "Strengthening India-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation."
"Our expanding partnerships with other countries in the region are an integral part of this. The Indo-Pacific must be a free, open and an inclusive region. We must follow a common, rules-based order that takes into account the equality of all, irrespective of size and strength. It should allow the use of common spaces on the sea and in the air," she added.
Swaraj further said that the current government is committed to bringing India-ASEAN relations to its full potential through the Act East Policy, with ASEAN at the core.
"Policymakers, eminent academicians, think tanks and the business community of India and ASEAN member states have used this platform to share their views to deepen and develop our unique relationship. Over the years, this forum has yielded a rich dividend of ideas for us," she said.
"This summit is recognised to ensure security and sustainability of oceans, seas and waterways. It is therefore appropriate that the theme of today's Delhi Dialogue is focused on 'Strengthening ASEAN-India Maritime Cooperation'," Sushma further noted.
Highlighting the aim of the Indo-Pacific meet, Swaraj asserted that the gathering is based on mutual respect for territorial integrity.
"Our vision of the Indo-Pacific, not only involves physical interconnectivity but also entails building bridges of trust, based on mutual respect, giving due regard for sovereignty and territorial integrity, consultation, transparency, viability and sustainability. Finally, there is an imperative need to eschew protectionism, nationalism and avoid a return to great power rivalries," she said.
"We are ready to strengthen cooperation in areas of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Search and Rescue operations, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation and collaborate on maritime domain awareness. We will also work towards the ecologically sustainable development of ocean resources in a collaborative framework," Sushma added.
For those unversed, Delhi Dialogue is a premier annual event to discuss politico-security, the economic and socio-cultural engagement between India and the ASEAN countries.
This will be the first major event to be organised after the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, which was held in New Delhi earlier in January this year.
DD X is being organised in partnership with the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). (ANI)