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India, ASEAN cultural ties a living link: Sushma Swaraj

ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit will begin tomorrow

India’s cultural relation with Southeast Asia is centuries old and serves as a living link between the two regions, said the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday. Ms. Swaraj made this reference as she launched the final phase of events leading to the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, scheduled to begin on 25 January, 2018.

“We are in South Asia and they are in Southeast Asia. So we cannot become part of their region geographically. But we have common cultural link that is not just a mere connection, but a living link. Buddhism and Ramayana connects us with the region. Indonesia, which is the biggest Muslim nation in terms of population, has the most famous Ramayana,” said Ms. Swaraj.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Swaraj welcomed the first of the ASEAN dignitaries for the summit, Foreign Minister of Brunei Pehin Lim Jock Seng. This meeting is expected to be followed by a series of bilateral meetings that will begin on Wednesday.

The meetings are held in preparation for the summit which celebrates 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership. The Dialogue Partnership was formed on 28 January 1992 when a Sectoral Dialogue Partnership with India was launched by ASEAN in its fourth summit in Singapore.

“Our ties, however, are not just 25 years old. Our ties stretch long back in history,” said Ms. Swaraj in her speech which was attended by several dignitaries from the region who have begun to arrive in the capital for the summit.

Stage set

Top leaders from the ten ASEAN countries will begin arriving from 11 a.m. onwards on Wednesday.

President of Vietnam Nguyen XuanPhuc will be the first to hold bilateral talks with President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening. PM Modi will also hold discussions with the President of Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and the State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 8:04:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-asean-cultural-ties-a-living-link-sushma-swaraj/article22500069.ece

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