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Summit to summit: Modi flies to Jakarta for ASEAN, East Asia talks ahead of packed G20 schedule at home

The 73-year-old leader was set to take part in ASEAN-India and East Asia summits in Jakarta in a day-long trip before returning to India and meeting top leaders ahead of G20 talks.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi emplanes for Indonesia to participate in the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and 18th East Asia Summit, in New Delhi, on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi kicked off a heavily packed schedule ahead of the G20 summit in New Delhi starting Saturday (9) by flying off for Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday (6) to take part in the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations)-India and East Asia Summit the next day.

He will return home the same day evening to prepare for bilateral talks with leaders of three countries on Friday (8), including US president Joe Biden who is visiting India for the G20 summit, officials said.

Ahead of his departure for Indonesia, Modi took part in a meeting of the council of ministers and the cabinet. The prime minister, who will turn 73 this month, will spend around seven hours in the flight to reach the Indonesia capital.

He will be present at the ASEAN-India summit after a four-hour break followed by the East Asia Summit, official sources added. Immediately after the meeting, he will leave for India and reach Delhi in the evening.

The next day, he will hold key meetings with three world leaders.

The prime minister posted on X ahead of his departure for Indonesia, saying, “Leaving for Jakarta to take part in ASEAN related meetings. This includes the 20th ASEAN-India Summit, which focuses on a partnership we greatly cherish. I will also take part in the 18th East Asia Summit, which focuses on important developmental sectors like healthcare, environment and digital innovations.”

The two-day G20 leaders’ summit will see presence of a number of top world leaders, including British prime minister Rishi Sunak, French president Emmanuel Macron, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida, among others.
Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping will not be present at the summit.

Modi lauds India-ASEAN ties

Modi on Wednesday said the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the ASEAN has injected new dynamism to the group’s ties with New Delhi. In a departure statement ahead of his visit to Indonesia, Modi said he looked forward to discussing the future contours of India’s partnership with ASEAN countries during his meetings with the leaders of the grouping.

The prime minister is visiting Indonesia to participate in the ASEAN-India Summit and the East Asia Summit. “Engagement with ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East’ policy,” Modi said.

“I look forward to discussing with ASEAN leaders the future contours of our partnership, which has now entered its fourth decade. Engagement with ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East’ policy. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership entered into last year has injected new dynamism in our ties,” he said.

About the East Asia Summit, the prime minister said, “This forum provides a useful opportunity to deliberate on issues of importance to the region including food and energy security, environment, health, and digital transformation. I look forward to exchanging views with other EAS Leaders on practical cooperation measures to collectively address these global challenges.”

The prime minister warmly recalled his visit to Indonesia for the G20 Summit in Bali last year. “I am confident that this visit will further deepen our engagement with the ASEAN region,” Modi said.

(With PTI inputs)

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