LAST_UPDATESun, 20 May 2018 9pm

Najib To Visit India, Attend ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit

NEW DELHI: Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be on a two-day working visit here beginning Thursday.

The visit, on the invitation of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relations, which will also be attended by the other nine leaders of ASEAN member countries.

Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Ramlan Ibrahim said the prime minister, who will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, will lead the Malaysian delegation which includes Health Minister and MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

"In addition to celebrating the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relations, the Summit will be a forum for ASEAN and Indian leaders to exchange views on cooperation between ASEAN and India at regional and international levels.

"This Commemorative Summit will also provide a platform for ASEAN and India to chart the future direction of ASEAN-India strategic cooperation," Ramlan told the Malaysian media here today.

According to Ramlan, the prime minister will be having a tight schedule, beginning with a luncheon hosted by Modi on Thursday before attending a closed retreat on maritime and security cooperation, followed by a Plenary session discussing global and regional issues as well as the roadmap of ASEAN-India cooperation.

Najib, together with Modi and the other heads of ASEAN countries are also scheduled to officiate the ASEAN-India Commemorative Stamp set containing 11 stamps (1 Indian stamp and 1 stamp for each ASEAN member)

"For Malaysia, the stamp will feature the Torana Gate in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur," Ramlan said.

Ramlan said the Summit, with the theme 'Shared Values, Common Destiny' was important in enhancing cooperation between ASEAN and India in various fields, including the fight against terrorism, regional connectivity, trade and business.

The leaders are also expected to adopt the Delhi Declaration at the Summit.

Among the issues expected to be discussed are the blue economy, as well as efforts to enhance connectivity between the two sides in enhancing the ASEAN-India economic cooperation.

The blue economy is a systematic approach which seeks to find solutions that are environmentally beneficial, as well as have financial and social benefits.

In addition to attending the Summit, Najib and the other ASEAN heads of state will attend the 69th Republic Day of India programme as guests of honour on Friday, January 26.

"This is the first time in history that all ASEAN leaders are invited to attend the Republic Day of India celebration as honorary guests," said Ramlan.

He said the prime minister is also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on his Indian counterpart, in which both leaders are expected to discuss the achievements of bilateral cooperation since Najib's last visit to India in 2017.

"Malaysia and India have made great progress in various areas of cooperation since the prime minister's last visit here, especially in terms of economy and trade, civil aviation, infrastructure and defence," he added.

- Bernama