Asean Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn visits India for five-day trip

ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn arrived in Delhi on Sunday evening, marking the beginning of his five-day visit to India.

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ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn | Photo: X @ani_digital ANIAsia

This is the first official visit of Kao Kim Hourn to India since he took office in January 2023. The visit will last from February 11 to 15.

In a post on X, Randhir Jaiswal, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), welcomed ASEAN Secretary-General hourn_kao on his first official visit to India, stating that it is an opportunity to further strengthen the India-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

During the visit, Kao Kim Hourn is scheduled to have meetings with S Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister, and other dignitaries in Delhi. He will also deliver the Sapru House Lecture organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) on the theme “The ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in the Evolving Regional Architecture,” as mentioned in an MEA press release.

Furthermore, he will visit the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in Gaya. At the Nalanda University in Rajgir, he is expected to deliver a speech on “The Future of ASEAN: ASEAN’s Relevance and Resilience in the Evolving Strategic Environment.”

The Nalanda University, which is part of the ASEAN-India cooperation projects, hosts students from ASEAN Member States. The university also leads the ASEAN-India Network of Universities (AINU), according to MEA.

In the press release, MEA emphasizes that “Engagement with ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s Act East Policy, which is now in its 10th year in 2024, as well as its vision for the wider Indo-Pacific. In 2022, the ASEAN-India relations were elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.”

The press release also mentions India’s support for the ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). India also supports the priorities set by Lao PDR in its ASEAN Chairmanship for the year 2024 under the theme “ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience.”

Tarah Nguyen