Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thursday (28/10), said that ASEAN’s unity and central position had become an important priority for India.
He made the statement in a speech at the India-ASEAN virtual summit.
Modi added that cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to strengthen India-ASEAN relations in the future.
Brunei, which currently heads the 10-member bloc, is hosting the virtual three-day meeting due to continued concerns over the coronavirus.
The summit was opened last Monday by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
The meeting was overshadowed by a diplomatic stalemate after military-led Myanmar skipped the summit in protest at Asean’s move to bar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, whose troops seized power in February.
ASEAN’s condemnation of Myanmar was the boldest stance since the bloc’s envoys were prevented from meeting ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, as part of a proposed dialogue to defuse a crisis that has killed more than 1,100 demonstrators, most of them anti-military. [uh/ab]