New Delhi (VNA) – Secretary at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Riva Ganguly Das on June 24 attended the East Asia Summit (EAS) Senior Officials’ Meeting, which discussed ways to strengthen the EAS's leading role and make the platform more effective and responsive in the face of emerging challenges.

In her speech at the event, Ganguly Das expressed her appreciation for the leadership role played by Brunei as the current Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN-led mechanisms.

She underlined the key role played by the EAS as a leading mechanism for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and reiterated India's support to make it stronger and more responsive.

Emphaising the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region with ASEAN at its centre, the diplomat noted there is a strong convergence between ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), which provides a common ground for enhancing regional cooperation.

Highlighting India’s interest in maintaining peace, stability, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, she asserted that the Code of Conduct in the waters (COC) that is under negotiation should not prejudice the legitimate interests of third parties and be fully consistent with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Concerning the Myanmar issue, she stated that India supports the ASEAN process and that India will continue to play a constructive role in resolving the current situation there./.