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Need to find more solutions amongst ourselves, EAM Jaishankar tells Bay of Bengal nations

© Provided by The Rahnuma Daily

Need to find more solutions amongst ourselves, EAM Jaishankar tells Bay of Bengal nations

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Asserting that longstanding goals such as capacity building and economic cooperation have acquired a new urgency, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Thursday called for deepening and broadening of activities between the Bay of Bengal countries.

“Global and regional developments also make it imperative that we find more solutions amongst ourselves,” he said in his opening remarks at the two-day 2nd BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat which began in New Delhi.

“For India, BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) represents the interaction of the ‘Neighbourhood First’ outlook, the ‘Act East’ policy and the SAGAR vision. Each of these endeavours is being purposed with a specific focus on the Bay of Bengal by the collaborative potential that has long remained under-realised. Our challenge is to change that for the better and to do so rapidly,” he stated.

The EAM is hosting his counterparts for the significant meet which brings together seven countries of South and South East Asia for multifaceted cooperation.

“The Retreat will present an opportunity for the Foreign Ministers of the BIMSTEC countries to discuss, in an informal setting, avenues to broaden and deepen cooperation across various sectors including in the fields of security, connectivity, trade and investment, people to people contacts etc, in the Bay of Bengal region and littoral,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

The first edition of the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat was held in Bangkok in July 2023 as India continues to reiterate its commitment to promote connectivity and linkages in the shared Bay of Bengal region.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud, Thailand Foreign Minister Maris Sangiampongsa (current BIMSTEC chair), Bhutan Foreign Minister D.N. Dhungyel, Nepal Foreign Secretary Sewa Lamsal and Myanmar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister U Than Swe and State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Tharaka Balasuriya are attending the meeting which is expected to bolster regional cooperation.

Last month, as he congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the BJP-led NDA’s third consecutive term, Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that he is already looking forward to the Indian leader’s visit to the country in September this year for the BIMSTEC Summit.

“While Prime Minister Modi will be visiting Thailand in September this year to attend the BIMSTEC Summit; on my part, I look forward to paying an official visit to India at the earliest opportunity to realise the full potential of our relations,” said Thavisin.

 

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