New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) In keeping with the importance India attaches to its Look East policy, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna would be travelling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to attend three major regional meetings July 11-12.
Krishna, who was in Tokyo Sunday to participate in the international donors conference on Afghanistan, will attend the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, the 2nd East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting and the 19th ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh.
The ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, an annual event, takes stock of the ASEAN-India partnership and deliberates on its future direction. India became a Sectoral Partner of ASEAN in 1992 and a Dialogue Partner in 1996. The relationship was upgraded in 2002 to the level of an Annual Summit Level Partnership.
The 10th ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers Meeting is significant as India would be hosting a special ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit Dec 20-21 to mark 20 years of the relationship and 10 years of the summit level partnership. A series of events have been planned in the run-up to the Commemorative Summit, an official statement said.
India has been part of the East Asia process since 2005, as a founding member. EAS Foreign Ministers would discuss cooperation in the five core areas of education, energy, finance, disaster management and pandemics as well as connectivity and further economic partnership between the member countries. Regional and international issues of concern and the preparation for the 7th East Asia Summit, which is to be held in Phnom Penh in November this year, would also be discussed.
Krishna will also participate in the 19th Ministerial Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Set up in 1993, the ARF has 27 members. India attaches importance to the ARF as a forum for constructive dialogue on political and security cooperation in the region with the ASEAN countries playing a central role in the process, the statement said.
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