IS INDIA GOING TO INVITE HEADS OF 10 ASEAN NATIONS FOR ITS REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATION ?

In perhaps the most significant exposition of its ‘Act East’ policy, India will invite the heads of state or government of all 10 Asean nations for the Republic Day parade and celebrations next year. Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and has as members Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.  Republic Day 2018 will be the first time ever that so many leaders will together be chief guests at the parade which showcases India’s military might.  Since it renamed ‘Look East’ as ‘Act East’ in 2014, the NDA government has sought a more “dynamic” and “action-oriented” approach in its relations with not just Asean, but also the wider Asia-Pacific, with emphasis on Japan. However, Asean continues to be the central pillar of ‘Act East’, and the special summit next year in January is expected to further underscore the point.  According to the external affairs ministry, this year, India and Asean are marking 25 years of dialogue partnership, 15 years of summit-level interaction, and five years of strategic partnership, through a wide range of activities, both in India and through Indian missions in Asean member-states, including a commemorative summit on the theme, ‘Shared Values, Common Destiny’ .  Rediff.com : 8th. July,17

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