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Cooperation in Covid era strengthens relations in future: PM Modi at ASEAN summit

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had posed a lot of challenges to member countries of ASEAN and posed a test to India-ASEAN friendship but mutual cooperation will keep strengthening relations in the future and form base for goodwill between people.

Addressing the 18th ASEAN-India Summit via video conferencing PM Modi said, “Due to COVID-19, all of us had to face a lot of challenges, this challenging time was also a test of the India-ASEAN friendship. Our mutual cooperation in the COVID era will keep strengthening our relations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people.”

He also focussed upon the historical ties between India and ASEAN, its shared values, traditions, languages, texts, architecture, culture and food and drink.

“History is witness that India and ASEAN have had vibrant relations for thousands of years. Their glimpses show our shared values, traditions, languages, texts, architecture, culture, food and drink. And that is why the unity and centrality of ASEAN have always been an important priority for India,” said PM Modi. The prime minister was invited to the summit by the Sultan of Brunei.

On the occasion of 30 years of India-ASEAN partnership and the 75th year of India’s independence, PM Modi said that the important milestone will be celebrated as ‘ASEAN-India Friendship Year’.