Tue, 22 Sep 2020

New Delhi [India], Dec 14 (ANI): India on Saturday underscored the need for different stakeholders to invest more time and effort in ensuring that the Indo-pacific remains a free, open, and inclusive platform so as to deliver tangible and meaningful cooperative initiatives in the region.

Delivering a valedictory address at the 11th Delhi Dialogue, External Affairs Minister S Jaihankar said that for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific platform, it is in everyone's to "ensure that the doors remain open to cooperation on as wide a platform as possible".

"While policy-makers, diplomats and academics congregate to iterate ideas, concepts, and strategies, there is equally a need to ensure that we do not get mired in a potentially misleading quest to find a complete identity of views on every element of every concept," Jaishankar said.

"On the contrary: the more important task at hand is to invest time and effort to use the Indo-Pacific as an open, free and inclusive platform to deliver tangible and meaningful cooperative initiatives. For this to happen, it is in everyone's interest to ensure that the doors remain open to cooperation on as wide a platform as possible," he added.

Jaishankar noted that India is amongst the first to welcome the ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

"In line with our own view that the Indo-Pacific naturally includes our western ocean neighbors in the Gulf, the Island nations of the Arabian Sea, and our partners in Africa, India's approach to this concept led us to recognize that both geographical extremities of the Indo-Pacific and everything in between should ideally have their own indigenously evolved approach to the Indo-Pacific," the minister said.

The minister said that the Indo-pacific is not tomorrow's forecast, but yesterday's reality.

In his address, Jaishankar also raised concerns about plastic pollution and asked members to collectively create high-quality infrastructure and progress steadily.

This year's Delhi Dialogue focused on "Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific", and was organized with the assistance of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries.

The dialogues aimed for an inclusive approach for a cooperative, free and rules-based Indo Pacific region.

Back in June 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had outlined India's vision for the Indo-Pacific while addressing the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, saying that "Inclusiveness, openness and ASEAN centrality and unity lie at the heart of the new Indo-Pacific." (ANI)

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