Foreign Ministers of the EAS discussed ways and means to strengthen the Leaders-led EAS platform

Foreign Ministers of East Asia Summit held their meet in a virtual format under the leadership of Chair, Vietnam on Wednesday. India led by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan discussed ways and means to strengthen the Leaders-led EAS platform and to make it more responsive to emerging challenges on its 15th anniversary.

The Foreign Ministers' meeting was also attended by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, during the meet, foreign ministers exchanged views on the current regional and international developments including the COVID-19 pandemic and the cooperation to achieve a speedy and sustainable recovery.

They also reviewed the status of commitments made by participating countries under the EAS framework and the progress in the implementation of the Manila Plan of Action (2018-2022) to implement the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative, adopted by the EAS Leaders in 2012.

Preparations for the upcoming 15th EAS Summit scheduled in November 2020, were also discussed.

Earlier, MoS V Muraleedharan in his remarks appreciated Vietnam’s efforts, as ASEAN Chair, for providing continued stewardship towards a ‘Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN’ in the difficult and uncertain times marked by COVID-19 pandemic.

Muraleedharan underlined the key role played by EAS as a leading mechanism of the Indo-Pacific region and reiterated India's support to make it stronger and more responsive.