Lyna Mohamad in New Delhi, India
The two-day Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (SAIFMM) opened yesterday with reaffirmed commitment to further deepen the broad-based partnership to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Noting the millennia-old civilisational and cultural linkages between Southeast Asia and India, the meeting recalled the milestones of the ASEAN-India dialogue relations over the last three decades.
The SAIFMM saw a joint opening statement delivered by Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan as the co-chair yesterday.
Foreign ministers from ASEAN member states and ASEAN Secretary General are participating in the SAIFMM, this year designated ‘ASEAN-India Friendship Year’.
Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof led the Brunei delegation during the ceremony at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan Office in New Delhi, India. Hosted by India until today, the event marks the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations and 10th anniversary of India’s strategic partnership with ASEAN.
ASEAN-India dialogue relations started with the establishment of sectoral partnership in 1992 before graduating to full dialogue partnership in December 1995, summit level partnership in 2002, and strategic partnership in 2012. Today, the ASEAN-India strategic partnership stands on a strong foundation.
Being central to India’s Act East Policy and its vision for the wider Indo-Pacific, this multi-faceted partnership with ASEAN encompasses many sectoral dialogue mechanisms and working groups that meet regularly at various levels and include annual summit, ministerial and senior officials’ meetings.
The ongoing India-ASEAN collaboration is guided by the Plan of Action 2021-2025 which was adopted in 2020, while ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM), hosted by ASEAN Chair, is an annual event.
The SAIFMM would be the first ASEAN-India FMM to be hosted by India in New Delhi.