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Dhankhar participates in East Asia Summit, underlines growing global concerns on food energy security

By Sushil BatraPhnom Penh [Cambodia], November 13 (ANI): Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar laid emphasis on global concerns on food and energy security in the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war while participating in the 17th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Sunday.

While addressing the Summit, the Vice President of India "underlined the growing global concerns on foodenergy security and called for EAS Members' full contribution to the International Year of Millets in 2023."The United Nations General Assembly has declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. This was adopted by a United Nations Resolution for which India took the lead and was supported by over 70 nations.

It will help to create awareness throughout the world of the importance of millet, its role in sustainable agriculture, and its benefits as a smart superfood. India is poised to become the global hub for millets with a production of more than 170 lakh tonnes and producing more than 80 per cent of the millets produced in Asia, according to a Ministry of Agriculture press release.

He also highlighted the importance of the East India Summit mechanism in promoting a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific with freedom of navigation and overflight.

Jagdeep Dhankhar on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit also met with US President Joe Biden who landed on Saturday in Cambodia to attend the summit.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar also held a good meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and discussed Ukraine, Indo-Pacific, energy, G20 and bilateral relations.

On the sidelines, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two leading think tanks of Cambodia and India respectively which is aimed at bringing the two nations together at the people-to-people level.

The two institutions, engaged in the realm of public policy, will endeavor to cooperate more closely to enhance their mutual understanding on a range of issues from geopolitics and international relations to sustainable development and cultural engagement, said a statement.

At a time of great geopolitical and geoeconomic turbulence in the Indo-Pacific, there is no real substitute for mutual understanding and knowledge. This MoU intends to bring together the youth, academia and the public policy community of the two nations so as to carve out a more substantive bilateral engagement.

This year marks a special milestone as India and ASEAN are celebrating the 30th anniversary of India-ASEAN relations. To commemorate the milestone, the year 2022 has been designated as Inda-ASEAN Friendship Year.

VP Jagdeep Dhankhar is leading the delegation and also having bilateral meetings with Cambodian leadership. On the margins, he also holds bilateral meetings with the leaders of participating countries.

The Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Republic of India on Saturday issued a joint statement and declared that advance maritime cooperation, including in maritime security, countering piracy and armed robbery against ships, maritime safety, and search and rescue (SAR) operations humanitarian assistance, disaster management, and emergency response and relief.

Enhance cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes including international economic crimes and money laundering, cybercrime, drugs and human trafficking, and arms smuggling; and in military medicine, while reaffirming that it plays an important role and offers to ensure health security in the region, stated the joint statement by ASEAN-INDIA.

Notably, East Asia Summit comprises ASEAN member states -- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam and its eight dialogue partners - India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is the Indo-Pacific's premier forum for strategic dialogue. It is the only leader-led forum at which all key Indo-Pacific partners meet to discuss political, security and economic challenges facing the region and has an important role to play in advancing closer regional cooperation.

From Phnom Penh, Jagdeep Dhankhar will travel to Siem Reap, where he will inaugurate the Hall of Dancers at the Ta Phrom temple. He will also pay a short visit to Angkor Wat temple where India had done work during the 80s. (ANI)