India keen to develop rail,road connectivity in ASEAN: Prez

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New Delhi, Aug 27 (UNI) President Pratibha Patil today expressed India's keenness to work with Laos for developing road and rail connectivity and e-governance in the ASEAN region, saying Laos played a central part in New Delhi's 'Look East Policy.' Ms Patil, who hosted a banquet in honour of visting Lao PDR President Choummaly Sayasone, said over the years Laos had played a central part in India's 'Look East Policy'.

India valued the support provided by Laos within ASEAN during 2004-2006 when Laos played a crucial role as Country-Coordinator for India. It was during this period that India joined the East Asia Summit after signing the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.

India was ready to work with Laos in road and railway networks for the benefit of the region and the two countries, the President said in her banquet speech.

She said India acknowledged and admired the dexterity with which Laos transformed the disadvantage of being ''a land-locked country into a land-linked one,'' providing connectivity through road and rail links in all directions.

Ms Patil also assured Laos of India's unstinted support in areas of e-governance, power, irrigation and other social-secter peojects.

''We will be particularly interested in working with Laos in its e-governance plans,'' the President said.

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