Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a contribution of USD 1 million to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund at the 17th ASEAN-India Summit, which was held virtually.
In his address to leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries, PM Modi also highlighted India's response and broader support to the international community and welcomed the association's initiatives to fight the pandemic.
According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), "On COVID-19, the Prime Minister highlighted India's response and broader support to the international community and welcomed ASEAN's initiatives to fight the pandemic. Prime Minister announced a contribution of US$ 1 million to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. The Prime Minister also underscored the importance of greater physical and digital connectivity between ASEAN and India and reiterated India's offer of US$ 1 billion Line of Credit to support ASEAN connectivity."
On trade and investment, PM Modi underlined the importance of diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-COVID economic recovery.
The MEA statement further said that the Prime Minister underlined the centrality of ASEAN in India's Act East Policy while addressing the ASEAN-India Summit.
"He noted that a cohesive, responsive and prosperous ASEAN is central to India's Indo-Pacific Vision and contributes to Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). The Prime Minister underscored the importance of strengthening convergence between India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific, to ensure a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region. He also invited the ASEAN countries to cooperate on various pillars of India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI)," the MEA said.
During the Summit, the ASEAN leaders acknowledged India's contribution towards promoting peace and stability in the region and welcomed India's support to ASEAN centrality. The Leaders also welcomed the adoption of the new ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2021-2025, the MEA said in its statement.
It further said, "The discussions also covered regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including the South China Sea and terrorism. Both sides noted the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region including through upholding adherence to international law, especially the UNCLOS."
The leaders affirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, safety and security in the South China Sea, and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight, the MEA added. (ANI)