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Jaishankar kickstarts two-nation visit to Southeast Asia, arrives in Vietnam for bilateral talks

Jaishankar's six-day trip to Vietnam and Singapore seeks to bolster bilateral cooperation with the two strategically positioned Southeast Asian nations. Jaishankar will co-chair the 18th meeting of the India-Vietnam Joint Commission on Monday.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Hanoi Published on: October 15, 2023 16:18 IST
Jaishankar welcomed by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui
Image Source : DR S JAISHANKAR/X Jaishankar welcomed by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar kickstarted his two-nation trip to Southeast Asia by arriving in Vietnam on Sunday, where he will co-chair the 18th meeting of the India-Vietnam Joint Commission meeting.

Jaishankar was welcomed by his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son after he visited the 6th-century Tran Quoc Pagoda temple in Hanoi. He also unveiled the bust of Rabindranath Tagore in Bac Ninh. 

"Arrived in Vietnam today. Thank you @FMBuiThanhSon for the warm personal welcome at the renowned Tran Quoc pagoda. Looking forward to co-chairing the 18th Joint Commission Meeting tomorrow," he said on social media platform X.

"Unveiled the bust of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore at the International Friendship Park in Bac Ninh province. Gurudev’s works are widely known and appreciated throughout Vietnam. Sure that this will enhance the international reputation of Bac Ninh province and further its strong ties with India," he said in a separate tweet.

The Tran Quoc Pagoda is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi. Sharing some pictures of his visit, Jaishankar said that the age-old links between India and Vietnam are symbolised by the Bodhi tree there and highlighted that it was gifted by former Indian President Rajendra Prasad to his Vietnamese counterpart Ho Chi Minh in 1959.

In his four-day trip to Vietnam, Jaishankar will attempt to increase bilateral cooperation across several areas with the strategically located Southeast Asian country. 

"India and Vietnam share a robust comprehensive strategic partnership. Vietnam is a key member of our Act East Policy. The external affairs minister's visit will provide an opportunity to review progress in several areas and discuss ways to further enhance bilateral cooperation," said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday.

Jaishankar will also co-chair the 18th meeting of the India-Vietnam Joint Commission on economic, trade and scientific and technological cooperation with Bui Thanh Son. "The external affairs minister will visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and is expected to hold talks with the Vietnamese leadership," the MEA said.

The External Affairs Minister will also meet members of the Indian community in Vietnam and unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Ho Chi Minh city. He will depart for a two-day visit to Singapore on October 19.

(with agency inputs)

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