On Sunday Jagdeep Dhankhar Vice President of India concluded his visit to Cambodia after attending the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the 17th East Asia Summit. The Vice President was accompanied by External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and this was the first foreign visit of Mr. Dhankhar in his current term.
Cambodia as the current Chair of ASEAN hosted these Summits. This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is being celebrated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year. Mr. Vice President also had a short visit to Ta Prohm temple and the historical Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap. On his visit to Cambodia, Mr. Dhankhar said, “We have a strong association with restoration and preservation works of magnificent architectural monuments in Cambodia. Our two countries share rich traditions and cultures and have centuries-old civilizational connections. Magnificent and awe-aspiring temples of Angkor Wat, Ta-Prohm, and Preah Vihear are a sublime reflection of the linkages between our two countries.”
While addressing the summit, the Vice President of India, highlighted the growing global concerns on food and energy security and called for EAS Members’ full contribution to the International Year of Millets in 2023. He also underlined the importance of the East India Summit mechanism in promoting a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific with freedom of navigation and overflight. Vice President Dhankhar on the sidelines also met with US President Joe Biden who landed on Saturday in Cambodia to attend the summit.
External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar also held a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and discussed the situation in Ukraine, Indo-Pacific, energy, G20, and bilateral relations. The Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Republic of India on Saturday issued a joint statement and declared that advance maritime cooperation, including in maritime security, countering piracy and armed robbery against ships, maritime safety, and search and rescue (SAR) operations humanitarian assistance, disaster management, and emergency response and relief.
Reinforce cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes including international economic crimes and money laundering, cybercrime, drugs, and human trafficking, and arms smuggling; and in military medicine, while reaffirming that it plays an important role and offers to ensure health security in the region, the joint statement by ASEAN-India says.
Prominently, East Asia Summit comprises ASEAN member states — Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam and its eight dialogue partners – India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Russia.
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is the Indo-Pacific’s premier forum for strategic dialogue. It is the only leader-led forum at which all key Indo-Pacific partners meet to discuss political, security, and economic challenges facing the region and has an important role to play in advancing closer regional cooperation.
From Phnom Penh, the Vice President also visited Siem Reap, where he inaugurated the Hall of Dancers at the Ta Phrom temple. The Vice President also paid a short visit to Angkor Wat temple where India had done work during the 80s.