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India for inclusive Indo-Pacific region: Modi

Singapore, June 1: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region is that of a free, open and inclusive region that embraces all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity. “India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members,” Modi said while delivering the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Track I annual inter-governmental security forum organised by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank. Stating that there cannot be a geographical definition for the region, India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific Region is a positive one with many elements. “It includes all nations in this geography as also others beyond who have a stake in it. Southeast Asia is at its centre. And, Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has been and will be central to its future.” Stating that the Indian Ocean has shaped much of India’s history, he said that it now holds the key to the country’s future. “The ocean carries 90 per cent of India’s trade and our energy sources,” he said. “It is also the lifeline of global commerce. The Indian Ocean connects regions of diverse cultures and different levels of peace and prosperity.” With southeast Asia being India’s neighbour by land and sea, Modi said that India has growing political, economic and defence ties with each of the 10 southeast Asian countries.

He also said that India’s partnership with Japan – from economic to strategic – has been completely transformed and described it as that of great substance and purpose that is a cornerstone of India’s Act East Policy. Modi also said that there is a strong momentum in India’s cooperation with South Korea, while there is a fresh energy in ties with Australia and New Zealand. India and the US, along with Japan and Australia, are part of a recently revived quad that seeks to work for peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. (IANS)