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VP Dhankhar highlights importance of EAS mechanism in promoting 'free, open inclusive Indo-Pacific'

Phnom Penh [Cambodia], November 13 (ANI): Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday participated in the 17th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh. In his address at the EAS, Dhankhar underscored the importance of the EAS mechanism in promoting a "free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific", which includes freedom of navigation and overflight.

Jagdeep Dhankhar underlined the growing global concerns in food and energy sector. He also called for the contribution of members of the East Asia Summit to the International Year of Millets.

Sharing details regarding Dhankhar's participation in EAS, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted, "VP Jagdeep Dhankhar @VPSecretariat participated in the 17th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh today. Underlined the growing global concerns on foodenergy security and called for EAS Members' full contribution to the International Year of Millets in 2023."In another tweet, Arindam Bagchi said, "Highlighted the importance of the EAS mechanism in promoting free, openinclusive Indo-Pacific with freedom of navigation and overflight." Jagdeep Dhankhar also met US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the 17th East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh.

Notably, East Asia Summit comprises the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (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, 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.

On November 12, Vice President Dhankhar held a meeting with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh. The two leaders had "wide-ranging" discussions on bilateral relations between two nations, including human resource, de-miningdevelopment projects. Dhankhar and Hun Sen witnessed the exchange of four Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) between India and Cambodia in areas of culture, wildlife and health.

Dhankhar also participated in the 19th ASEAN-India Summit in Phnom Penh. Notably, ASEAN-India Summit commemorates the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relations. On November 11, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar attended an Indian community reception in Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

Highlighting the importance of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar's visit, India's ambassador to Cambodia, Devyani Khobragade said, "Vice President's 1st official visit abroad is to Cambodia. India in Cambodia is celebrating 70th anniversary of our bilateral relations. We have been trying to increase institutional linkages in various sectors. We signed four MoUs during the visit."Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Sunday held a "good meeting" with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Cambodia. The two leaders had a discussion about Ukraine, Indo-Pacific, energy, G20 and bilateral ties between US and India.

Dr S Jaishankar tweeted, "A good meeting with US Secretary of State @SecBlinken. Discussed Ukraine, Indo-Pacific, energy, G20 and bilateral relations." On November 12, Jaishankar met United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after the ASEAN gala dinner. He also met Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly and Canada's Trade Minister Mary Ng at the ASEAN gala dinner. (ANI)