India, the US, Australia and Japan on Friday collectively came out in strong support of an ASEAN-led mechanism in the regional architecture for Indo-Pacific region.
Senior officials of the four countries, at a meeting in Bangkok, also reaffirmed the commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region based on shared values and principles, the External Affairs Ministry said.
"The participants reiterated their strong support for ASEAN-Centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms in the regional architecture for the Indo-Pacific and in this regard welcomed the initiative of ASEAN towards a common vision for the Indo-Pacific," the MEA said.
The 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region and India and several other countries including the US, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners.
In November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" Coalition to develop a new strategy for keeping the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
China has been trying to expand its military presence in the Indo-Pacific region
The meeting in Bangkok took place for consultations on regional and global issues of common interest, the MEA said.
It said a number of other issues including connectivity and infrastructure development, regional security, counterterrorism and maritime cooperation were discussed with a view to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
"They reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific Region based on shared values and principles," it said.
The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing.
The ASEAN region along with India accounts for 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over USD 3.8 trillion.
The ASEAN comprises Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
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