India will not get involved in ASEAN disputes: Hamid Ansari

New Delhi, Sep 19: India wants to develop “comprehensive” ties with ASEAN nations but will not get involved in any of their territorial or maritime disputes, Vice President Hamid Ansari has said. “India has a very clear cut view on Southeast Asia. We want to develop a comprehensive relationship based on satisfaction of each other’s requirement,” he told reporters last night on his way back from a four-day two-nation tour of Cambodia and Laos.

“Requirement is peace, stability and development. If there is no peace and stability, there will be no trade, there will be no investment and there will be no business. Now in that we have a convergence of views,” he said. Asked that with many Southeast Asian countries embroiled in territorial and maritime disputes, can India emerge as a stabilising force, Ansari, in a lighter vein, said, “We are not in the business of providing stabilisers that has to be done by the ship-building industry.”

Stressing that India has a very good relationship with ASEAN, Ansari said, “It is incumbent on us and we have done it, to have not only good relations with something called ASEAN but good relations with every member of ASEAN.” He said India was doing this diligently doing and will continue to do it. “Now if they have any problems amongst themselves it is for them to resolve. ASEAN has its own mechanism for resolving problems,” Ansari asserted.

On the issue of terrorism, Ansari said the menace has now become an international phenomenon and can only be countered by international cooperation. “Can’t say this is a problem of country X which is far away from country Y because we do not know what connections are being established within these groups. International cooperation has become an absolute necessity. It is not a matter of choice that we will cooperate with one and not the other,” Ansari said.