In one of his shortest-ever foreign trips, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will spend less than 23 hours at Jakarta in Indonesia, and will return home in time for three major bilateral meetings on September 8, including one with US President Joe Biden. He is going to Indonesia for back-to-back events — the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit.
Out of the 23 hours for the trip, nearly 14 hours will be the flying time to Jakarta and back. The prime minister left for Jakarta on Wednesday night and will spend around seven hours in the flight before he arrives in Jakarta at 3 am IST on September 7 (Thursday).
After a short rest, he will leave for the venue of the ASEAN-India Summit at 7 am IST, following which he will take part in the East Asia Summit at 8.45 am IST.
Immediately after this, Prime Minister Modi will depart for the airport and fly to India at 11.45 am IST and land in Delhi around 6.45 pm IST – this means he will spend less than nine hours in Jakarta.
Biden is arriving in India around 7 pm on September 8. On the same day, the PM will hold important bilateral meetings with three countries, including one with the American president around 7.45 pm and another with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina.
The all-important G20 Leaders Summit begins on September 9 and will end on September 10. On Wednesday, PM Modi took part in a meeting of the council of ministers as well as a cabinet meeting before noon. He also held back-to-back meetings till 7.30 pm before leaving for Jakarta.
In a departure statement ahead of his short visit to Indonesia, Modi said the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the ASEAN has injected new dynamism to the group’s ties with New Delhi. He said he looked forward to discussing the future of India’s partnership with the grouping’s countries during his meetings with the leaders of member countries.
“I look forward to discussing with ASEAN leaders the future contours of our partnership, which has now entered its fourth decade. Engagement with ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East’ policy. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership entered into last year has injected new dynamism in our ties,” he said.
On the 18th East Asia Summit, Modi further said: “This forum provides a useful opportunity to deliberate on issues of importance to the region including food and energy security, environment, health, and digital transformation. I look forward to exchanging views with other EAS Leaders on practical cooperation measures to collectively address these global challenges,” he said.
The PM warmly recalled his visit to Indonesia for the G20 Summit in Bali last year. “I am confident that this visit will further deepen our engagement with the ASEAN region,” Modi said.
(With PTI inputs)