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Momen for “strategic partnership” among neighbors in S Asia

Published : 02 Mar 2023 02:01 AM | Updated : 02 Mar 2023 01:35 PM

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said collaboration among neighbors in South Asia through “strategic partnership” for development and security aspirations would help establish the region as a role model for the rest of the world.

“The region is thriving with possibilities and potentials. When we think of shared prosperity, we need to take our neigbours on board; when we think of turning our respective country into an economic hub, it is better to think of the region as a whole, not an individual country of South Asia,” he said.

The Foreign Minister made the remarks while delivering a public lecture on “Promoting Culture of Peace for shared prosperity: A vision for South Asia"' at Vivekanand International Foundation in New Delhi.

Momen said the government of Bangladesh is going to host the 6th Indian Ocean Conference on May 12-13 with the significant theme “Peace, progress and partnership for a resilient future” as they aspire for “Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace.”

may work together for a stable region through exchange of our hardship and success stories,” he said.

Director, Vivekanand International Foundation Dr Arvind Gupta, current and former diplomats were present.

Foreign Minister Momen is now visiting New Delhi to attend the G20 foreign ministers' meeting and will have a number of bilateral meetings including with his Indian counterpart on the sidelines of the meeting.

While delivering the public lecture, he made a number of proposals for long lasting friendship between South Asian countries and sustaining peace in the region.

Peaceful Coexistence: There is an undisputed recognition that the destinies of our neighboring countries are intertwined, that the stability and prosperity of our region is inextricably linked with each other and that the future of the region can best be served by strengthening mutually beneficial relations with each other.

Regional Cooperation: The roots of regional cooperation lie in the realization of social and economical benefits of the peoples of the region irrespective of existing divergences in political, social and economic performances of any country. It is more important to promote cooperation rather than division.

Economic Emancipation: South Asia has one of the lowest levels of intra-regional trade anywhere in the world, due to prevailing trade barriers. A country should not abruptly impose tariff and non-tariff barriers to offset the prospects of Trade. Trade is the engine of growth and goes hand-in-hand with investment. All countries should remove restrictions on investment from one country to another country to promote economic and trade prosperity.

Ensuring rightful share: Geographies have destined us to take benefit of nature including rivers. One country should not be deprived of its due share. We should be mindful that issues of domestic politics should not hurt the sentiment of the majority of people of other countries.

Emphasis on Track-2 engagements to promote regionalism: Since our region is very volatile and at times, full of emotions, the intelligentia community including scientists, economists, litterateurs and journalists can make a positive and valuable contribution in negating any propaganda and in formulating sound and constructive programmes for the good and well-being of the region. We need regional peace and stability to prosper and sustain. Therefore, we should promote dialogues among various strata of people especially academicians, opinion builders and think tanks.

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