Wrapping up his crucial four-day visit to Cambodia and Laos, Vice President Md. Hamid Ansari once again said that India wants to develop comprehensive ties with ASEAN nations, at the same time asserting that Indian government will not get involved in any of their territorial or maritime disputes. The Vice President said this while apprising the press contingent on board his Special aircraft.
“India has a very clear cut view on Southeast Asia. We want to develop a comprehensive relationship based on satisfaction of each other’s requirement,” he told the press on Friday night on his way back from a four-day two-nation tour of Cambodia and Laos.
“Requirement is peace, stability and development. If there is no peace and stability, there will be no trade, there will be no investment and there will be no business. Now in that we have a convergence of views,” VP Hamid Ansari added.
On whether India would like to intervene and emerge as a stabilising force with many Southeast Asian countries embroiled in territorial and maritime disputes, the Vice President said in a lighter vein, “We are not in the business of providing stabilisers that has to be done by the ship-building industry.
Stressing that India has a very good relationship with ASEAN, the VP added, “It is incumbent on us and we have done it, to have not only good relations with something called ASEAN but good relations with every member of ASEAN… Now if they have any problems amongst themselves it is for them to resolve. ASEAN has its own mechanism for resolving problems.”
Terming terrorism a menace, Vice President Ansari opined that it has now become an international phenomenon and can only be countered by international cooperation.
“Can’t say this is a problem of country X which is far away from country Y because we do not know what connections are being established within these groups. International cooperation has become an absolute necessity. It is not a matter of choice that we will cooperate with one and not the other,” he said.
Emphasising importance India attaches to forge close ties with the ASEAN nations, Vice President welcomed the headway made during his four-day visit. During his Cambodia and Laos visit, VP Ansari held talks with the top leadership of both the countries and MoUs were signed for stepping up bilateral economic engagement in a fillip to India’s Act East policy.
The Vice President had also addressed the gathering of Indian diaspora in both the countries.
(With inputs from the PTI)