At summit, India & ASEAN reaffirm importance of freedom of navigation

India News

In an oblique reference to China’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, India and the ASEAN countries on Saturday reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, and peaceful resolution of disputes.

This was stated in the joint statement of the 19th ASEAN-India Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar is representing India at the summit.

The two sides agreed to advance maritime ties and enhance cooperation against terrorism, transnational crimes and cybercrimes.

The joint statement said that they reaffirm the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, and other lawful uses of the seas and unimpeded lawful maritime commerce and to promote peaceful resolutions of disputes, in accordance with the principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They also agreed to “enhance cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes including international economic crimes and money laundering, cybercrime, drugs and human trafficking and arms smuggling,” the statement said.

Dhankhar and Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen held discussions on enhancing bilateral ties, including in areas such as human resource, de-mining and development projects.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is being celebrated as the ‘ASEAN-India Friendship Year’.

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