New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday invited leaders of 10 South East Asian countries to attend the Republic Day celebrations as well as participate at a commemorative summit marking 25th anniversary of India’s ties with the bloc and they accepted it.
In his address at the ASEAN-India Summit, PM Modi said he was looking forward to a “befitting culmination of the commemorative year and receiving you” at the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit on January 25 next year in New Delhi. He said 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN leaders as the Chief Guests at India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations.
Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry, said the ASEAN leaders “graciously” accepted PM Modi’s invitation to attend the two events. Mr Saran said a number of events have been planned in the run up to the commemorative summit including an India-ASEAN connectivity summit on December 11 and 12 and a business summit in January next year.
She said the sense in the ASEAN-India Summit was that there was huge potential for further expansion of cooperation between the two sides on a range of areas. There was a major focus on improving connectivity between ASEAN and India.