Jaishankar to represent India at 15th EAS summit

ANI
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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

New Delhi [India], November 13 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will represent India at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) on Saturday which will discuss ways to strengthen the platform and to make it more responsive to emerging challenges on its 15th anniversary.

The leaders will also exchange views on issues of international and regional interest including the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual summit will be chaired by Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and will see the participation of all eighteen east Asian countries.

"The summit meeting will discuss ways and means to strengthen the EAS platform and to make it more responsive to emerging challenges on its 15th anniversary. The leaders will also exchange views on issues of international and regional interest including the COVID-19 pandemic and the cooperation among EAS participating countries to achieve an expeditious and sustainable economic recovery," External Affairs Ministry said in a release.

It said the East Asia Summit is a premier leaders-led forum for discussions on important strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific, and a leading confidence-building mechanism in the region.

"India strongly believes that the ASEAN-led frameworks of which EAS is an important part, are at the core of the regional security architecture and need to be strengthened further," the release said.

Established in 2005, the EAS is a leaders-led forum that provides a platform for discussion on important strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific region.

It is a regional grouping of 18 participating countries i.e. 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States. India is a founding member of EAS. The 18 members of the EAS together represent 54 per cent of the world population and account for 58 per cent of the global GDP.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the EAS, which is the only leaders-led forum of its kind that brings the US, China, Russia, India, South Korea and Australia together on one platform.

Sources said it enables focus on key strategic issues of global and regional importance and serves as a mechanism to reinforce adherence to international norms and rules.

They said network of ASEAN-led frameworks, like the EAS, are a vital part of the regional security architecture.

India attaches great importance to EAS as a premier leaders-led forum and sees it as a logical platform to promote a free, open, inclusive, transparent, rules-based, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, the sources said. (ANI)