Krishna leaves for Thailand to attend India-ASEAN Ministerial meeting

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New Delhi, July 21 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S M Krishna left for Phuket, Thailand on Tuesday to attend the three-day Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia Summit.

Speaking to reporters, Krishna said that India's participation in the ASEAN meet and the East Asia Summit is an important element of the country's 'Look East' policy.

"India shares civilizational linkages and deep bonds of friendship with the ASEAN region. Our engagement with ASEAN and East Asia Summit is an important element of our 'Look East' policy," he said.

Krishna also said that negotiations are going on to further consolidate India's relationship with ASEAN in the trade and economic area.

"India's relation with ASEAN have registered significant progress and have become truly multifaceted. Our trade ties are robust. We are well on the way to achieving the 50 million dollar target by 2010," he added.

The meeting comes ahead of Asia's biggest annual security gathering, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which takes place on Thursday and where concerns over North Korea's recent military moves are likely to take centre stage.

Those talks will include US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as foreign ministers from North Asia and officials from the European Union and Russia.

The ASEAN Regional Forum is a premier dialogue forum on security issues in the Asia Pacific. Apart from confidence building and preventive diplomacy on traditional security concerns, it focuses on issues such as terrorism, maritime security and disaster management. (ANI)

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