India will host a special meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on June 16-17 in New Delhi as part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of India’s dialogue relations with the grouping. of 10 nations and the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership with ASEAN.
Foreign Ministers of India and Singapore, S. Jaishankar and Vivian Balakrishnan, will co-chair the meeting. Balakrishnan is also the country coordinator for India in ASEAN.
ASEAN Secretary General and foreign ministers of member countries will attend the meeting in New Delhi. The year 2022 has been named the Year of ASEAN-India Friendship.
The ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is an annual event hosted by the ASEAN President. However, the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers Meeting (SAIFMM) is the first ASEAN-India FMM hosted by India. It will be preceded by the 24th ASEAN-India Senior Officials Meeting to be held on June 15.
The meetings will coincide with the 12th edition of the Delhi Dialogue, a top-level meeting of the ASEAN-India Dialogue 1.5, to be hosted by India on June 16-17. ‘Building bridges in the Indo-Pacific’ is the theme of this year’s Delhi Dialogue. Ministers from Jaishankar and ASEAN will attend the ministerial session.
Who will be and who will not?
According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi, Myanmar’s participation in the ASEAN-India foreign ministers’ meeting will be based on the consensus of member states.
ASEAN has pushed for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar since last year’s military coup. On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military took control of the country’s administration and imposed a state of emergency, arresting Nobel laureate and political leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD). ).
After the coup, ASEAN has adopted a format in which only non-political representation from Myanmar can be present at the group’s meetings and events, the Hindustan Times reported.
However, Chan Aye, Myanmar’s permanent foreign secretary, has been invited to attend the senior officials’ meeting and the foreign ministers’ meeting, HT reported, citing sources.
The foreign ministers of the Philippines, Laos and Thailand are unlikely to be present at the meeting, the sources said. All three countries are expected to send junior ministers or senior officials in their place.
While ASEAN-India dialogue relations began with the establishment of a sectoral partnership in 1992, they matured into a strategic partnership in 2012.
For India, the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership is central to the country’s Act East Policy and its vision for the wider Indo-Pacific.
The current India-ASEAN collaboration follows the Action Plan 2021-2025, which was adopted two years ago in 2020.
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