With China on mind, Obama urges India to engage East

November 8th, 2010 - 10:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) With China on mind, US President Barack Obama Monday called on India to engage Southeast and East Asian countries with greater vigour, saying it will enhance “security and prosperity of all our nations”.

“Like your neighbours in Southeast Asia, we want India to not only ‘look East’, we want India to ‘engage East’ - because it will increase the security and prosperity of all our nations,” Obama told members of both houses of parliament here.

As the US stands poised to join the 16-nation East Asia summit, Obama said that the US was once again playing a leadership role in Asia, “strengthening old alliances, deepening relationships, as we are doing with China”.

“…and we’re reengaging with regional organisations like Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and joining the East Asia summit - organisations in which India is also a partner”.

India has accelerated its ‘Look East’ policy, initiated in 1991 by then prime minister P.V Narasimha Rao, that involves intensified economic and strategic engagement with the economically vibrant region.

Obama’s exhortation to India to play a bigger role in East Asia comes against the backdrop of an increasing Chinese assertiveness in the region which is being resented by Southeast Asian countries.

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