India working closely with partners to help sustain democracy in Indo-Pacific: Shringla
Kolkata, Nov 21 (PTI) Former foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday said India is working closely with its partners to help sustain democracy, peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
India established itself as a credible friend in the Indo-pacific region, Shringla said while addressing a conclave here on ‘Reimagine and reconnect the Indo-Pacific region through the lens of culture’.
“The mutual-social threads that tie the region with India is an important component towards fostering regional cooperation,” said Shringla, now the Chief Coordinator for India’s G20 Presidency, during his online inaugural address at the conclave.
Living reminders of India’s cultural influence are clearly visible in Southeast Asia, he said.
India’s great religious traditions such as Buddhism spread far and wide in the Indo-pacific as some of the most impressive Hindu temples are found in Vietnam, the former IFS officer said.
“India established itself as an instinctive and unstinted early responder and a credible friend in the Indo-pacific region,” Shringla said.
India’s assistance and India’s ships were never far away during natural calamities in the countries of the region, he said at the conclave organised by the US Consulate General in Kolkata and the Asian Confluence, a think tank.
“We have maintained and continue to strengthen our long-term commitment to an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, interconnected, prosperous, resilient, and secure,” said Melinda Pavek, US Consul General to Kolkata.
The Indo-Pacific of today enjoys unprecedented economic ties and represents the world’s biggest producers of goods and largest trade markets, she said.
“We are excited to witness India’s G20 presidency. The G20 world will open new opportunities for multilateral global engagements with a focus on sustainable growth and inclusive development,” Pavek said.
Indonesia on November 16 handed over the G20 presidency to India for the coming year at the Bali summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming it a matter of pride for every Indian citizen. PTI COR NN NN