10th East Asia Summit Held For Regional Cooperation
The 10th East Asia Summit, Foreign Ministers meeting was held on the 9th of September virtually where the Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan attended on behalf of India. The Meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers of the EAS participating countries and chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Mr. Pham Bin Minh. It was a fruitful meeting with a lot of good discussions on the road of foreign policy adopted by the East Asian Countries in the times ahead and an assurance of continued strong alliances given the uncertain geopolitical environment.
The main agenda of the meeting was on discussing and formulating various ways in which the ties between the member countries can be strengthened and make it responsive and proactive in dealing with the major changes happening around the world. Covid-19 was one of the main areas of the discussion and all the countries gave their inputs and suggestions on dealing with the pandemic and work towards a faster and sustainable recovery from the Pandemic. The Manila Action Plan (2018- 2022) was again revised and the various implementation strategies were deliberated upon. The plan was about the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative, adopted by the EAS Leaders in 2012. Other topics included the deciding of the next EAS summit in November and the related preparations.
In the same meeting, the MOS of India appreciated the Vietnamese efforts in well-coordinating and leading the path of growth and maintaining a ‘Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN’ in the difficult and uncertain times marked by COVID-19 pandemic. He also specified the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific region and the countries situated in it in the coming world filled with uncertainties and volatility. And with the volatility comes the utmost importance of having such a regional forum to maintain relations and help each other during difficult times. He also emphasised the role of India and assured that India will stand with the EAS countries and work together with them to collectively overcome various challenges that lie ahead of them, especially in the context of an assertive and aggressive China.
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a regional forum held annually by leaders of around 16 countries in the East Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian and maritime regions, based on the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism. Membership recently has been expanded to 18 countries including Russia and the United States at the Sixth EAS in 2011. The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 14 December 2005.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team