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PM to embark on quick visit to Indonesia for ASEAN Summit ahead of G20 meet


New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) Areas relating to maritime security as well as digital economy will be reviewed by India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during ASEAN Summit in Indonesia, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending on September 7.

He will leave for Indonesia during the night on Wednesday and return to New Delhi late in the evening on Thursday.

Secretary, East, in the External Affairs Ministry Saurabh Kumar while briefing media persons on Modi’s visit to Indonesia to attend the summit, which is themed “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”, said on Tuesday that Indonesia is chairing the summit this year, and that the Prime Minister will attend the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit.

On matters to be discussed during the event, he said: “It is difficult to anticipate what would be discussed when the leaders meet, but issues which are of mutual concern–regional and international will come up once they have the discussion…Whether there would be consensus or not, can’t anticipate what would come out of the discussions. We cannot reveal any specific term.”

There are speculations that ASEAN nations may discuss the “standard map” which China had issued last week, that showed several parts of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh under its own territory.

It also showed a substantial portion of the South China Sea under Chinese territory.

Several neighbouring nations including India, had reacted angrily to this development. India issued a “strong protest” to Beijing, claiming that they had no justification to claim Indian land. Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Nepal later joined the opposition to the so-called “standard map.”

However, the MEA official said that the Myanmar situation could come up for discussion.

“Myanmar, of course, like other regional and international issues, is likely to come up in the discussions. Our position on Myanmar is very clear. So I would leave it at that. And once we have the post-summit briefing, if there is anything more, I would add to that,” hesaid.

“This year Indonesia is the chair of ASEAN and their theme is ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. Within this framework, Indonesia organised a flagship event ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum to implement the ASEAN outlook. This is an event that is focused on increasing the connectivity of ASEAN to the Indo-Pacific by involvement of businesses & industries,” Kumar said.

With India and Asean observing the 30th anniversary of their partnership in 2022, the Indian side has focused on increasing connectivity in the physical, digital and economic domains.

India and Indonesia launched direct flights through two private airlines in August, and India has also started direct flights to Vietnam.

Following the linking of the real-time cross-border payment systems of India and Singapore in February, Kumar said the Indian side is “looking at ways to expand this to other Asean countries”.

He also said that PM Modi’s journey to Indonesia will be brief because he will be hosting the G20 Leaders Summit in New Delhi.

“It is a very short visit, as the Prime Minister is hosting the G20, and the effort is to participate in this important summit and get back home as quickly as possible because the Prime Minister is the host for G20. So, there would not be any bilaterals during the course of the visit,” Kumar said.


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