India-ASEAN Summit

India and the 10-member Asean decided to deepen partnership for combating terrorism and radicalisation through information sharing, law enforcement cooperation and capacity-building projects.

Countering terror and maritime security cooperation were the top agenda for the plenary session at the Commemorative Summit addressed by the 10 southeast Asian leaders and PM Narendra Modi. Fight terror figured in all bilateral meetings too.

The Delhi Declaration adopted at the Summit read: “Deepen cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, violent extremism and radicalisation through information sharing, law enforcement cooperation and capacity building under the existing Asean-led mechanisms. In addition, strengthen cooperation and collaboration in combating other transnational crimes, including people smuggling, trafficking in persons, illicit drug trafficking, cybercrime, and piracy and armed robbery against ships.”

The leaders, on the occasion of 25 years of Indo-Asean partnership, further stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. They also decided to strengthen cooperation between Asean and India on cybersecurity and policy coordination.

Amid China’s aggression in South China Sea region and agenda for Indo-Pacific, the Delhi Declaration reaffirmed “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 UNCLO”.

Promoting connectivity was yet another key item on the agenda of discussions at the plenary session of the Summit. The leaders decided to promote maritime transport cooperation between Asean and India, and encourage potential private sector participation in the development of seaports, maritime logistics network and maritime services in order to create greater efficient linkages; and encourage Asean and India to continue discussions on these priority areas.

The two sides further decided to strengthen cooperation in the area of aviation and maritime transport and look forward to the expeditious conclusion of the Asean-India Air Transport Agreement and the Asean-India Maritime Transport Agreement.

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