Mukherjee says India looking forward to larger role in Asia-Pacific


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Jun 17, 2009
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Mukherjee says India looking forward to larger role in Asia-Pacific

President Pranab Mukherjee has said that India is looking forward to embark upon a larger role in the Asia-Pacific and that it saw Singapore as its gateway to ASEAN and enhanced cooperation with the countries in the region.

"We appreciate your role in bringing India and ASEAN closer together," he said at a banquet he hosted for Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam at Rashtrapati Bhavan here last night.

Mr Mukherjee said Dr Tan's visit to India was particularly significant as it commemorated an important milestone – the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two Governments.

"India and Singapore have much in common. Our contacts began in the days of the Cholas, who were perhaps one of the earlier inhabitants in your land. These intensified in the colonial era, particularly in the flow of traders, scholars and monks. During our independence movement, many patriots from India sought to combine forces against colonial rule and were based in your country," he said.

Mr Mukherjee said he was delighted to learn that Singapore would be installing a statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in its India Heritage Centre.

"In modern times, professionals and workers from India have involved themselves whole heartedly in the economic development and growth of Singapore," he said.

Mr Mukherjee said the two countries shared a vision for a partnership based on their shared beliefs in democracy, multicultural societies, rule of law, free enterprise, regional role and common links through growing people-to-people contacts.

"We are partners across the seas and are an integral part of the regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Today, we are at an interesting cusp in history, witnessing major transformations around us. We have seen the downturn in the global economy and its impact on our region, even though we have been affected less than others. We have seen the shift of the geo-strategic gravity towards Asia. We have also seen the consolidation of forces in Asia," he said.

Mr Mukherjee said it would be India's endeavour to work together towards maintaining peace and stability in the region and bringing development to their peoples.

"I have no doubt that the exchanges between our two countries during this commemorative year will help to further intensify our co-operation for the benefit of our peoples and peace and prosperity in our region," he added.

Mukherjee says India looking forward to larger role in Asia-Pacific | NetIndian
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