India welcomes expansion of ASEAN maritime forum
Phnom Penh, July 12 (ANI): Asserting that evolving asymmetric threats in the form of maritime terrorism, piracy and drug trafficking have made maritime security issues a strategic priority, External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna on Thursday welcomed the proposal for expansion of the ASEAN maritime forum.
Addressing the plenary session of the Second East Asia Summit (EAS) foreign ministers meeting here, Krishna said: "We are actively continuing our cooperation in the maritime area with ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM)+ members."
"Our collaborative agenda must reflect the East Asia Summit as not only the most comprehensive but also the most effective forum in the region, oriented to tangible outcomes, a futuristic vision and a dialogue process at a pace comfortable to all," he added.
Stating that the East Asia Summit process has a great potential to bring synergy of effort to ensure peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region, Krishna said: "We believe that in this era of global connectivity and economic inter-dependence, this can be achieved only if Asia strengthens itself in terms of economic growth, capacities and capabilities, all of which will enable it to contribute better to the global system. We continue to see ASEAN as the driving force in these processes."
To further intensify collaboration in the priority area of disaster management and relief, Krishna said: "India would be hosting an EAS conference on building regional responses to disaster management in New Delhi from 16 to 17 September this year."
"We hope to bring together National Disaster Management Authorities in EAS member countries for sharing of expertise and experience, as well as to build capacities," he added.
Emphasising that the ongoing global economic crisis and the Eurozone crisis, in particular, continue to be worrisome, Krishna said: " It is imperative for the Asian engines of growth to come together to offset this. There should also be greater interaction and cooperation between our financial authorities."
" We welcome the regional comprehensive economic partnership initiative and we look forward to our engagement with the ASEAN countries on this," he added.
Stressing that Asia needs a sustainable developmental architecture, Krishna said: ". I would like to suggest that integral to this would be greater focus on food security and energy security, including the use of energy efficiency technologies."
"These are, again, areas where East Asia Summit members bring complementary capacities, which I hope will be explored further in the EAS Energy Ministers Meeting to be held in Phnom Penh in September 2012. We must adopt a collaborative approach which transcends individual limitations on capacity," he added. (ANI)
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