The 11th ASEM Summit concluded in Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, where Vice President Md Hamid Ansari is leading the Indian delegation. The summit concluded with the adoption of Ulaanbaatar Declaration that charts the future course for the forum as it enters its third decade.
On day two, the summit saw long deliberations on a wide range of issues of interest for Asia and Europe. Among other issues, the menace of terrorism was also focussed on.
The ASEM reaffirmed its commitment towards promoting greater connectivity and more focused cooperation between Asia and Europe.
The ASEM aims to continue making contribution to sustained peace, security, stability, economic recovery among its member its member nations. It also aims to respond effectively to global and regional challenges. The group acknowledged its expansion from 26 partners to 53 in the past 20 years.
The summit has also decided to designate a special day to celebrate Asia meets Europe and Europe meets Asia. To underline ASEM’s importance and raise its visibility, celebrations will be held every year on March 1 or any other day during the first week of March.
The summit celebrated its 20thAnniversary this year under the theme of “20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity”
Vice President Md Hamid Ansari met several leaders on the sidelines of the summit on Saturday. Meetings with leaders of Bangladesh, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were held.
Earlier on Friday, VP Ansari also held talks with a host of Mongolian leaders. The issue of the 1 billion dollars Line of Credit offered to Mongolia by India was also discussed.
“In all the three meetings, the Vice President was very warmly received. All the three leaders unanimously conveyed their warmth towards India and recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s very successful visit to the country in May last year which was a landmark visit in our bilateral relations,” said Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs told reporters.
During the plenary session earlier, Vice President spoke on issues of connectivity terrorism and navigational freedom. The Vice President also called for protection of the seas and oceans in accordance with international conventions. Without naming China and its disputed claims in the South China Sea, VP Ansari called for all parties to resolve disputes peacefully.
On day one of the summit, top leaders from 49 nations observed a minute’s silence following the deadly truck attack in the French city of Nice that killed 84 people. At the plenary session Vice Presdient Mohammed Hamid Ansari called for speedy action against the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terror.