Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on arrival at Brunei Intenational Airport for EAS ASEAN Summits in Brunei Darussalam on Wednesday.
Agencies, Bandar Seri Begawan, (Brunei)
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today set foot on this capital of tiny nation of Brunei on a two day visit with an agenda to further upgrade India’s ties with ASEAN, the 10-nation group of the countries of South East Asia, through his participation in the 11th India-ASEAN Summit and the Eigth East Asia Summit.
Dr Singh would be announcing India’s decision to have a separate mission for ASEAN headed by an ambassador to be set up in Indonesian capital of Jakarta, the seat of the ASEAN secretariat.
As he said before departing for Brunei from home today, India’s engagement with the ASEAN and its member countries was ’’the cornerstone of our “Look East” policy and has evolved into a strong, comprehensive and multi-faceted partnership in recent years.
‘’It started with a strong economic emphasis, with focus on commerce and connectivity, but has increasingly acquired strategic content,’’ Dr Singh said. Dr Singh, who will be travelling to Jakarta from Brunei for a bilateral visit to Indonesia said ‘’My visits to Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia will further intensify our engagement to our East, which has been at the forefront of our foreign policy, and contribute to peace, prosperity and stability in the Asia Pacific.’’
He also said India saw the East Asia Summit as a springboard to regional cooperation and integration.
The Prime Minister who arrived here this afternoon would attend the gala dinner hosted by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, tonight for the leaders attending the ASEAN Summit.
He will participate in the East Asia Summit tomorrow morning and then in the 11th India-ASEAN Summit in the afternoon.