East Asia Summit on Maritime Security & Cooperation kicks off
Bhubaneswar: At least 52 delegates from 16 countries are participating in the East Asia Summit on Maritime Security and Cooperation that kick started in Bhubaneswar today. For the next three days, the leaders will discuss on ways to strengthen regional peace, security and prosperity among the member countries.
Inaugurating the event, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan referred to Prime Minister Modi’s speech delivered at the Shangri La Dialogue at Singapore on June 1 and Delhi Declaration of ASEAN India Commemorative Summit held on January 25 where maritime security and safety were identified as important areas of cooperation between India and the region
Highlighting the importance of oceans and ocean resources for trade and the necessity of ensuring safety of maritime sea lanes, Pradhan stressed on the need for cooperation among countries to keep the oceans free for navigation and unimpeded commerce.
The Minister reiterated that India is the closest maritime neighbor of South East Asia and enjoyed ancient maritime and cultural links with the region. He recalled the festival of Baljatra , which was a voyage to Bali, Indonesia undertaken during the ancient days by merchants and seafarers from Odisha.
“Odisha has to become the maritime gateway to the region by virtue of many important ports and waterways in the state,” Pradhan said referring to Prime Minister Modi’s vision of SUGAR which is Security And Growth for All in the Region.
Member countries including Australia, Brunei, Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar,New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, USA and Vietnam participating in the conference will discuss cooperation in areas of maritime security and use of ocean resources .The delegates will be a taken on a heritage tour to Dhauli and Konark on June 9 for an exposure of the heritage and cultural sites in Odisha, informed organisers of the conference.