New Delhi, April 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to the Indonesian President expressing his regrets for not being able to attend the upcoming Bandung Conference of Asian and African countries in Jakarta which will see foreign minister Sushma Swaraj representing the Indian side.
In the letter, which was delivered by Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry, Anil Wadhwa, yesterday, the Prime Minister also invited President Joko Widodo to visit India and said he was looking forward to visiting Indonesia at a mutually convenient time.
Indonesia is commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Asian-African 1955 Bandung Conference and the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership in Bandung on 24th April, 2015, which will be preceded by a Ministerial and Asian-African Summit in Jakarta.
"I regret that due to long prior travel commitment just before the conference and the resumption of the Budget Session of Parliament that week, I will miss the opportunity to participate in an event that holds great significance for us.
"We will be represented by my senior colleague, External Affairs Minister Swaraj, whose long experience in international affairs is accompanied by a deep sense of commitment to Asian solidarity," the Prime Minister said.
Asserting that he attaches extraordinary importance to the bilateral relations with Indonesia, Modi said there was much in our proximity, history, culture and now, the sheer democratic values and our roles as two major emerging Asian nations that impart great strategic importance to our partnership.
Noting that in these 60 years, Asia has seen unprecedented economic progress, rise of democracy and elimination of poverty, Modi said yet it must still deal with unresolved questions and unsettled issues for enduring peace and prosperity in the region.