India committed to well being of Indian Ocean nations: EAM Jaishankar
12 May, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastav
External Affairs Minister talked about the issues amongst the nations in the Indian Ocean Region while addressing Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishanakar emphasized India’s commitment to the well-being of Indian Ocean nations on Friday.
Minister S Jaishankar while addressing the 6th Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka, stated,”Reiterating India’s commitment to the well-being and progress of all nations of the Indian Ocean. We have dedicated bodies like the Indian Ocean Rim Association or the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, with their specific mandates.”
He further claimed that India had enlarged on that philosophy via the Neighbourhood First policy, the SAGAR vision, and our attitude to the rest of the world. India also thought that a smooth transition into an Indo-Pacific region would benefit everyone.
“This is a gathering of like-minded to have an open and fruitful discussion on various dimensions of our cooperation. I wish the deliberation all success,” Jaishankar said. He further claimed that India had enlarged on that philosophy via the Neighbourhood First policy, the SAGAR vision, and our attitude to the rest of the world. India also thought that a smooth transition into an Indo-Pacific region would benefit everyone.
EAM also emphasized that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) should be followed and referred to Bangladesh as a “successful developing economy.” Without naming any country, Jaishankar stated at the occasion that when a government disregards its legal duties or breaches long-standing accords, the harm done to “trust and confidence is immense.”
‘Unsustainable debt’ a shared concern through Indian Ocean region: EAM
Jaishankar also brought up “unsustainable debt”. He told “A significant shared concern through the Indian Ocean is that of unsustainable debt generated by unviable projects. There are lessons from the last two decades that we ignore at our peril. If we encourage opaque lending practices, exorbitant ventures and price points that are unrelated to the market, these are bound to bite us back, sooner rather than later.”
“Especially so when sovereign guarantees have been proffered, not always with due diligence. Many of us in the region are today confronting the consequences of our past choices. This is a time to reflect and reform, not one to repeat and reiterate,” the External Affairs Minister said.
Jaishankar additionally argued that connectivity is a critical problem for all countries since the era of imperialism damaged the continent’s natural links and built regional silos to achieve its own objectives.
“In many cases, the hinterland was disadvantaged to the benefit of the coastal areas. Building back in the post-colonial era is a long, painful and arduous task. It is still very much a work in progress. How to restore, indeed enhance flows between distinct regions is today of the utmost priority. For a nation like India, this means a land connection to South East Asia. And a multi-modal one to the Gulf and beyond. Central Asia offers its own distinct challenges due to obstacles in between,” Minister stated.
“Collectively, the more we work on facilitating smooth and effective connectivity, the better off we all are. And obviously, we need to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity while doing so. Let me, therefore, underline that from India’s perspective, efficient and effective connectivity to ASEAN in particular will be a game-changer. We accord this the utmost priority,” Jaishankar told.
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