PM calls for more cooperation in Asia Pacific region at East Asia Summit
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has called for more cooperation in the Asia Pacific region in the plenary session of East Asia Summit, which began here today.
"India's security and prosperity are vitally linked to the Asia Pacific region. Our vision for this region is rooted in cooperation and integration," said Dr. Singh.
"Forums such as the East Asia Summit can help create a large economic community in this region that will accelerate development and enhance prosperity, besides reinforcing mutual understanding and confidence in the region," he added.
Leaders from 10 ASEAN nations and dialogue partners from India, Japan, US and China are also participating in the 21st ASEAN summit to discuss strategic, economic and security issues of the region.
The summit is overshadowed by the contentious issue of South China Sea, which has remained a bone of contention between China and its neighboring countries including Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and even Singapore.
India has also been advocating freedom of navigation and is backing efforts to evolve code of conduct in the South China Sea.
Addressing the leaders, Dr. Singh said 'this Summit is witness to important events and changes taking place in the Asia Pacific region'.
"Concerted effort and collective action on the part of the countries gathered in this room can strengthen mutual understanding and help us address shared challenges," he said.
The Indian Prime Minister also emphasised on the need to develop principles common principles to deepen regional economic integration.
Negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership were also launched during the summit; Phnom Penh Declaration on East Asia Summit Development Initiative was also passed.