External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be on a two-day visit to Thailand starting on Thursday to attend key ministerial meetings of the regional forums of ASEAN, Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) and East Asia Summit.
The ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, to be co-chaired by Jaishankar and his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai on Thursday, will review the progress in the implementation of the key decisions of the leaders of ASEAN Member States (AMS) and India arrived at during the 25th anniversary ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit held in New Delhi in January last year.
The meeting in Bangkok will also review the progress of the decisions reached at the Informal ASEAN-India Breakfast Summit held in Singapore on November 15 last year as also the progress in the implementation of the ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2016-2020), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
The participants at the meeting will also exchange views on important regional and international issues and on ways and means to further strengthen the ASEAN-India strategic partnership, the MEA said.
Jaishankar will co-chair the 10th MGC Ministerial Meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Vietnam, Prak Sokhonn, on Thursday afternoon.
The meeting will review the practical cooperation under the MGC framework, adopt the MGC Plan of Action (2019-2022) and also discuss the various commemorative activities planned next year to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the MGC, which is the oldest sub-regional cooperation framework set up by the Mekong countries — Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam — with any external partner.
The 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, to be held on August 2, will discuss the preparations for the East Asia Summit (EAS), scheduled to be held in Bangkok on November 4.
The ministers will discuss the progress on the Manila Plan of Action (2018-2022) in implementing the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative, adopted by the EAS leaders in 2012, the statement said.
The ministers will also deliberate on the current regional and international issues and on further strengthening of the EAS as the region’s prominent leaders-led forum for discussions on global political-security and economic issues.
The 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), in the afternoon of August 2, will focus on the joint programmes and activities of the member states and organisations to foster a habit of cooperation and build strategic trust in the region.
Under the ARF rubric, India and Myanmar had organised a field-training exercise on military medicine in Lucknow in March for the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus countries.
Both at the EAS and the ARF, the external affairs minister will enumerate India’s Indo-Pacific vision, which was elaborated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore in June 2018, the MEA said.
Jaishankar will also hold a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the ASEAN-related multilateral meetings.