Krishna to represent India at India-ASEAN Ministerial meeting

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New Delhi July 20 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna will represent India at the India-ASEAN Ministerial meeting to be held in Phuket, Thailand, on July 22.

Informed Ministry of External Affairs sources said the minister would use his visit to Thailand to project India's "Look East" policy as it has been doing for more than a decade-and-a-half.

India became a founding member of the East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2005 along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia New Zealand and the 10 ASEAN countries.

Sources said there has been steady progress in the India-ASEAN relationship since 1991. India became sectoral dialogue partners of ASEAN in 1992. In 1996, this was upgraded to full dialogue partnership.

Since 2002 India has been having annual summits with ASEAN - along with China, Japan and Republic of Korea. These political level interactions are further strengthened through the Senior Officials' Meetings, as also specialised working groups in the various functional areas, opine the experts.

Besides issues related to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India and strengthen economic ties, ASEAN has already expressed a desirability to work together to fight terrorism and transnational crime, combating corruption and promoting good governance and the protection and promotion of human rights, as well as cooperation in forums such as ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) initiative.

Krishna would return home on the evening of July 23. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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