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Sushma meets new Asean Secretary General

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday met new Asean Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi here ahead of the Fifth Round Table of Asean-India Network of Think Tanks.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in tweet that in “taking Asean-India relationship in the commemorative year”, Sushma Swaraj met Lim, with Indonesian Foreign Minster Retno Marsudi also in attendance.

The meeting comes amid India’s increasing engagements with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) bloc under New Delhi’s Act East Policy.

New Delhi will host a commemorative summit on January 25 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Dialogue Partnership between India and the Asean in which all the leaders of the Asean nations are expected to participate.

Lim, a seasoned diplomat from Brunei, took over as the Secretary General of Asean in January after the five-year term of Le Luong Minh of Vietnam ended in 2017.

Lim was named for the post in the Asean Summit in the Philippines in November 2017. The Asean Seretary General is appointed for a non-renewable term of five years, selected from among the Asean member states based on alphabetical rotation.

The Asean comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Sushma Swaraj arrived here from Thailand on Friday on the second leg of her three-nation tour of Southeast Asia that will also see her visiting Singapore.