Phnom Penh. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has expressed concern over the loss of mutual trust between countries due to certain activities and incidents in the Indo-Pacific region, saying that this has affected peace and stability in the region and India will settle all maritime disputes in accordance with international laws. in favor of the solution.
Addressing the ninth meeting of Defense Ministers of ASEAN countries here on Wednesday, Singh said that India is in favor of peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. It also advocates a free, independent and inclusive system based on international rules and laws in the Indo-Pacific region. He said that India is concerned about certain complex activities and incidents in the region as these have eroded mutual trust and affected peace and stability in the region.
India stresses on freedom of navigation, unimpeded legal trade, peaceful resolution of maritime disputes and compliance with international laws. They expressed hope that the code of conduct related to the South China Sea would be in line with international laws and would not in any way disregard the legitimate rights and interests of any country. The Defense Minister said that this meeting is taking place at a time when conflicts are increasing in many places in the world due to subversive politics. He said that a peaceful Indo-Pacific with ASEAN at its center is essential for security and prosperity in the world. Mentioning the participation of 10 ASEAN countries and eight other partner countries in the meeting, he said that this forum can become a vehicle not only for regional security but also for peace around the world.
Singh said terrorism is the biggest threat the world is facing right now and it cannot be ignored as every region is affected by it. Terrorist organizations have forged alliances with the help of technology and cyber crimes have also taken the form of cyber attacks. Governments and other elements are also using new technology.
He said that apart from terrorism, challenges like energy and food security are also raising their heads after the Covid pandemic. India believes that regional security initiatives should be based on mutual consultation and development-oriented, showing a semblance of consensus. He said that India is committed to enhance cooperation with ASEAN countries as well as maritime security in the region.