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Opening remarks by External Affairs Minister at the open session of the 10th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting

July 11, 2012

Your Excellency Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Cambodia,
Your Highness Prince Mohamad Bolkiah, Foreign Minister of Brunei Darussalam,
Your Excellency Dr. Marty Natalegawa, Foreign Minister of Indonesia,
Your Excellency Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman, Foreign Minister of Malaysia,
Your Excellency Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Lao PDR,
Your Excellency Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of ASEAN,

Distinguished Leaders of Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam,


It gives me immense pleasure to join you at this very important ASEAN-India Ministerial meeting in Phnom Penh. My deep gratitude to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Cambodia and the Government of Cambodia for the very warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to me and my delegation.

Excellencies,

This year marks two decades of ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership. I take this opportunity to convey India’s sincere appreciation to Cambodia for its constructive and supportive role, in its capacity as Country Coordinator for India over the last three years. This period witnessed notable intensification and deepening of cooperation in ASEAN-India partnership. Cambodia, in its capacity as current the ASEAN Chair, played a pivotal role this year to take our engagement with ASEAN to the next high level. I also recognize the valuable contribution of the previous ASEAN Chair Indonesia, and we look forward to working closely with Brunei Darussalam, the Country Coordinator for India for 2012-15.

India's relationship with ASEAN is a key cornerstone of our foreign policy and the foundation of our Look East Policy. We have attempted to anchor this within the larger context of Asia as an engine for global growth and prosperity. It is in this spirit that we have suggested project proposals to the ASEAN Secretariat covering multifaceted dimensions of our cooperation as envisaged under the Plan of Action for 2010-2015.

The people and Government of India look forward to the privilege of welcoming the ASEAN Leaders and Ministers at the special ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi from 20 to 21 December this year. I am particularly pleased at the enormous support and enthusiasm in ASEAN capitals to join us in observing this important landmark. Excellencies, the Commemorative Summit will present a special opportunity to pronounce together a new era in the ASEAN-India partnership.

I am happy to note that the ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme has been institutionalized. I sincerely thank Cambodia and Vietnam for hosting the first group of Indian journalists, who are present with us in this room today. We look forward to host ASEAN journalists during the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.

I look forward to your gracious presence at the launch of the Logo and the social network domain sites for the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit later today. After this open session, I will share further details of the Special Commemorative Summit and related activities.

Thank you.

Phnom Penh
July 11, 2012

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