New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary (East) Preeti Saran on Wednesday said that leaders of 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have confirmed their participation in the 2018 Republic Day celebrations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited the ASEAN leaders to be the chief guests.
"The ASEAN India Summit will take place on January 25, followed by the Republic Day celebrations for which all the 10 leaders from the ASEAN countries have confirmed their participation in the commemorative Summit as well as to be guests of honour at the Republic Day", said Saran in a media briefing.
"In the course of last one year, we have been celebrating 25 years of India-ASEAN relations, 15 years of summit partnership and 5 years of our strategic partnership. It began last year in January with the conference, that was held on Cultural and civilisational linkages in Jakarta", she added.
Secretary East also recalled External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's South East Asia visit to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
"External Affairs Minister had very successful meetings and bilateral discussions in all the three countries. But in the ASEAN context it was significant because Thailand is going to be the country coordinator for India-ASEAN relations from July this year onwards", said the Secretary East.
Yesterday, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Dr H. Wiranto was called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital.
The Prime Minister warmly recalled the successful visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to India in December 2016, and said that he is looking forward to welcoming the President in India again later this month, when leaders of ASEAN countries will visit the country for the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and will also be the chief guests at the Republic Day celebrations thereafter.