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On Republic Day, PM Modi pens op-ed for 27 ASEAN newspapers in 10 languages

By Deepika
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    As the ASEAN leaders joined Modi to mark 25 years of India-ASEAN relations, the prime minister wrote an editorial which was published on Friday in 27 ASEAN newspapers in 10 languages.

    Narendra Modi

    The PM tweeted a link to his piece published in Singapore's English daily The Straits Times, one of the 27 newspapers that carried the op-ed.

    The article reflected on the "shared values" and "common destiny" of India and ASEAN nations.

    In the editorial, PM Modi talked about the India-Asean countries' partnership that will be of "great promise for their (nations') 1.9 billion people, (or) about one-fourth of humankind."

    The leaders of these 10 nations-President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, General Prayuth Chan-o-cha of Thailand, Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, the Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos and Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia-were at Rajpath today, witnessing the Republic Day parade.

    Focusing on India's 'Act East' policy, he said, "For India, most of our major partners and markets - from ASEAN to East Asia to North America - lie to the East."

    As India looks for a more influential role in the Indo-Pacific region, the prime minister said, "Now, as before, the East, or the Indo-Pacific region, will be indispensable to India's future and our common destiny."

    He said a future of hope for India as well as ASEAN countries needed "the solid bedrock of peace" in an age of change, disruptions and shifts that comes only rarely in history.

    On Thursday, one individual from each of the 10 ASEAN nations was named for the Padma Award. The ASEAN region along with India has a combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population, and their combined GDP has been estimated at over $3.8 trillion.
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