NAY PYI TAW: Underlining the need for building a climate of trust in the East Asia region, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for forging an international partnership against terrorism and hoped that a Code of Conduct on South China Sea is concluded soon.
Mr Modi, who attended his first East Asia Summit in the Myanmarese capital, placed the East Asia Summit at the heart of the ongoing quest for inclusive regional security architecture and underscored the need for enhanced cooperation in areas ranging from energy and pandemics to terrorism and maritime security.
“No other forum brings together such a large collective weight of global population, youth, economy and military strength. Nor is any other forum is so critical for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific and the world,” Mr Modi said at the 9th East Asia Summit on November 13.
“Challenges of terrorism and extremism have increased. There is close link with drug trafficking, arms smuggling and money laundering,” he said.
Taking a strong stand against terrorism, the prime minister backed the East Asia Summit Declaration on the Islamic State. “At the same time, comprehensive response against terrorism requires a genuinely international partnership against all terrorism. Those who believe in humanity must come together. We should also reject any linkage between religion and terrorism,” he said.
In a veiled allusion to China’s assertiveness in South China Sea, which is claimed by Beijing and many Southeast Asian nations, Mr Modi stressed on “a need for a serious and sustained dialogue to strengthen the climate of understanding and confidence among all stakeholders in the region.”
“In a world of inter-dependence and globalization, there is no option but to follow international laws and norms. This also applies to maritime security,” he said.
The Indian prime minister emphasised the need to follow international law and norms for peace and stability in South China Sea as well. “This also includes the 1982 UN Convention on Law of the Sea, which should be the basis for resolving disputes peacefully. We also hope that the efforts to conclude a Code of Conduct on South China Sea by a process of consensus would be successful soon,” he said.
Highlighting issues of sustainable development, Mr Modi also spoke about enhanced regional partnership in the area of affordable and clean energy.
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