Your Excellency President Widodo,
Your Majesty,

It is my pleasure to participate in the "East Asia Summit” once again. I extend my sincere congratulations to President Widodo for his outstanding leadership. Additionally, I warmly welcome His Excellency Xanana Gusmão, the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, as an Observer in this meeting.

The East Asia Summit is a very important platform. It is the only leaders-led mechanism for dialogue and cooperation on strategic matters in the Indo-Pacific region. Additionally, it plays a pivotal role as the primary confidence-building mechanism in Asia. And the key to its success is ASEAN centrality.

Your Majesty, Excellencies,

India fully supports the "ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific." There is unison in the vision of India and ASEAN for the Indo-Pacific. This underscores the significance of the 'East Asia Summit' as a crucial platform for implementing the "Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative." ASEAN holds a central position in the vision of QUAD. The positive agenda of QUAD complements with the various mechanisms of ASEAN.

Your Majesty, Excellencies,

The present global landscape is surrounded by challenging circumstances and uncertainties. Terrorism, extremism, and geopolitical conflicts are big challenges for all of us. Multilateralism and rules-based international order are essential in countering them.

It is imperative to adhere fully to international laws; And everyone's commitment and joint efforts are also necessary to strengthen the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. As I have said before – today's era is not of war. Dialogue and diplomacy is the only path to resolution.

Your Majesty, Excellencies,

India's policy in Myanmar takes into account ASEAN's views. At the same time, as a neighbouring country, ensuring peace and security on the borders; And enhancing India-ASEAN connectivity is also our focus. Peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, is in the interest of us all.

The need of the hour is such that an Indo-Pacific - where international law, including UNCLOS, is equally applicable to all countries; where there is freedom of navigation and overflight; and where there is unimpeded lawful commerce for the benefit of everyone. India believes that the Code of Conduct for South China Sea should be effective and in accordance with UNCLOS. Additionally, it should take into consideration the interests of countries that are not directly involved in the discussions.

Your Majesty, Excellencies,

Challenges pertaining to climate change, cyber security, food security, health, and energy are particularly impacting the Global South. During our G20 presidency, we are focusing on these important issues related to the Global South.

Your Majesty, Excellencies,

I would like to reaffirm India's commitment to the East Asia Summit process. I extend my heartiest congratulations to the incoming Chair Lao P.D.R. And I assure India's full support to their presidency.

Thank You.

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Cabinet approves development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi
June 19, 2024

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today approved the proposal of Airports Authority of India (AAI) for development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi including Construction of New Terminal Building, Apron Extension, Runway Extension, Parallel Taxi Track & Allied works.

The estimated financial outgo will be Rs. 2869.65 Crore for enhancing the passenger handling capacity of the airport to 9.9 million passengers per annum (MPPA) from the existing 3.9 MPPA. The New Terminal Building, which encompasses an area of 75,000 sqm is designed for a capacity of 6 MPPA and for handling 5000 Peak Hour Passengers (PHP). It is designed to offer a glimpse of the vast cultural heritage of the city.

The proposal includes extending the runway to dimensions 4075m x 45m and constructing a new Apron to park 20 aircraft. Varanasi airport will be developed as a green airport with the primary objective of ensuring environmental sustainability through energy optimization, waste recycling, carbon footprint reduction, solar energy utilization, and incorporation of natural daylighting, alongside other sustainable measures throughout the planning, development, and operational stages.