NEW DELHI – Leaders of countries that form the bloc Association of Southeast Asian Nations are set to arrive in New Delhi on Thursday to participate in a summit to mark 25 years of bilateral ties.
The leaders of the ASEAN countries – Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – have been arriving one by one in the Indian capital to take part in the summit, which is being held on the eve of India’s annual Republic Day celebrations.
The summit will include the launch of postage stamps commemorating 25 years of bilateral relations between ASEAN and India.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also host a gala dinner for the leaders after the summit.
On Friday, the leaders will be the guests of honor in the grand military parade in New Delhi held every year to celebrate Republic Day, the anniversary of the Indian constitution coming into effect in 1950.
Modi has already met Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and the prime ministers of Thailand – Prayut Chan-ocha – and Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.
He is also set to meet leaders of Laos, Thongloun Sisoulith; Malaysia, Najib Razak; Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah; Cambodia, Hun Sen; and Indonesia Joko Widodo.
ASEAN was founded in 1967 and has a combined current population of more than 620 million people and is India’s fourth biggest trade partner.
According to the Indian foreign minister, New Delhi has invested $70 billion in these countries over the last two decades.