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Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Suresh Prabhu to participate in conference on Indian Ocean

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Shipping and Surface Minister Nitin Gadkari and Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu will join Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremasinghe and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mahmud Ali and whos who of Southeast Asia’s political landscape at a two-day Sep 1-2 conference on Indian Ocean organized by pro-BJP India Foundation in Singapore.

Dr Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamidi, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Malaysia, Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore Foreign Minister Ding Dinh Quy, Deputy Foreign Minister, Vietnam and senior Singapore Ministers besides MoS MJ Akbar and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar are among the other speakers at the star-studded meet – maiden foray abroad for the India Foundation.

Senior defence personnel including India’s Navy Chief Sunil Lanba and Admiral Harry B Harris Commander, United States Pacific Command are among the speakers that will also feature former MoS (Foreign Affairs) and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, Art of Living Foundation.

The Conference endeavours to convene critical states and principal maritime partners in the IOR to cogitate and deliberate on myriad issues impinging on region-wide national security and national development, through the tri-prism of Geo-Strategic, Geo-Economic and Geo-Cultural, rendering maritime affairs to not merely be a realm of concern for national security planners and the strategic establishment, but to connect with the broad swathe of popular opinion, discourse, consciousness and imagination, across IOR communities and societies, according to the India Foundation conference note.
Top think tanks from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Singapore – Bangladesh Institute of International & Strategic Studies, Institute of Policy Studies and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies respectively – will be partners for the meet. All these three countries have significant stakes in the Indian Ocean Region. The significance of the Indian Ocean Region was highlighted when Modi made visits to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka as part of one visit last year. It is no secret that China’s aggression in the South China Sea region have alarmed countries in Indian Ocean Region which are wary of future attempts by Beijing to establish its dominance in the Indian Ocean where India hopes to the net security provider.

Courtesy – The Economic Times

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