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PM's closing remarks at India-ASEAN Summit

Posted on Dec 20, 07:35PM | IBNS

Closing Remarks by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit 2012 on Thursday:


I sincerely thank each one of you for sharing your vision and views on the India-ASEAN partnership. Your thoughts accurately capture the themes of peace, progress and shared prosperity, which form the guiding principles of our partnership.

Our discussion today has demonstrated the unique strength of this partnership.I am heartened by the consensus in this room on the importance of this relationship to each one of us. We are united in our desire to improve connectivity, enhance commerce, promote cooperation among our institutions and deepen links between our people. We realize the strategic importance of this relationship in the regional and global contexts.

The Vision Statement lays out a comprehensive roadmap for political, security, economic, socio-cultural and development cooperation. It imposes on us the responsibility to work diligently and innovatively to fulfill the heightened expectations from this relationship

The vitality and durability of our partnership will depend not only on what the governments do with each other, but also on how we facilitate greater interaction between our people, students, scientists, academics, intellectuals, media, entrepreneurs, agriculturists and artists. That is why this commemorative summit is particularly special. We have with us not just leaders and diplomatsfrom the ten ASEAN countries, but also students, experts, farmers and artists.

On this occasion, I would like to record my sincere appreciation for the excellent recommendations made by the ASEAN India Eminent Persons Group, many of which we have endorsed today in our Vision Statement. We will explore others as we continue on our journey.

I am very happy that we have decided today to elevate our relationship to a strategic partnership. This is a historic step, and together with the conclusion of the negotiations on FTA in Services and Investments, defines a qualitatively new paradigm of our partnership. It is a natural progression of the journey we embarked on together in 1992 and it will serve our relationship well in the next decade and beyond.

Excellencies, I thank you once again for accepting my invitation to this special Summit. I must, at this moment, also recall with appreciation the support that India has enjoyed from all Members of ASEAN, at all times.

I thank Prime Minister Hun Sen for Cambodia's role as ASEAN Chair in coordinating this Summit. I would also like to assure His Majesty Haji HassanalBolkiah that India will work with Brunei, our ASEAN Country Coordinator forthe next three years, to giveshape to the vision endorsed by all of us today. We will also work to make the 11th ASEAN-India Summit in Brunei Darussalam and related events a success.

Excellencies, I look forward to interacting with you in the series of celebrations over today and tomorrow to mark this milestone in the relations between India and ASEAN and I thank you very much once again for your participation in making this Commemorative Summit a great success.