India stands shoulder to shoulder with the Asean in pursuit of "a rules-based open, inclusive, balanced and equitable regional architecture", President Ram Nath Kovind told the leaders of the 10 South-East Asian nations on Thursday.
Kovind hosted a lunch for the Asean leaders at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The leaders of the 10 South-East Asian nations are in New Delhi to attend the Asean-India commemorative summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"India's "Act East policy" reinforces our ancient links with South East Asia through enhanced political, security, economic and cultural ties," President said.
He said that lndia greatly valued the Asean's role as a proponent of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. "We reiterate our support to Asean's unity and centrality. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Asean in pursuit of a rules-based regional architecture which is open, inclusive, balanced and equitable," he said.
President noted that India-Asean relations had come a long way since they established their Dialogue Partnership on January 28, 1992. "Today, Asean is a Strategic Partner for India. We have 30 dialogue mechanisms between India and Asean, including Annual Summits and 7 Ministerial Meetings in a wide range of sectors," he added.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, President Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand, Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Lao PDR met the President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Lim Jock Hoi, secretary general of the Asean, was already in New Delhi.