Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday inaugurated the East Asia Summit on Maritime Security and Cooperation here and laid emphasis on the need for cooperation among countries to keep the oceans free for navigation and unimpeded commerce.
At least 52 delegates from 16 countries are participating in summit. For the next three days, the leaders will discuss on ways to strengthen regional peace, security and prosperity among the member countries.
Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s speech delivered at the Shangri La Dialogue at Singapore on June 1 and Delhi Declaration of ASEAN India Commemorative Summit held on January 25 where maritime security and safety were identified as important areas of cooperation between India and the region, the Union Minister laid emphasis on the need for cooperation among countries to keep the oceans free for navigation and unimpeded commerce.
Maintaining that India is the closest maritime neighbour of South East Asia and enjoyed ancient maritime and cultural links with the region, Union Minister Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, recalled the festival of Baljatra , which was a voyage to Bali, Indonesia undertaken during the ancient days by merchants and seafarers from Odisha.