Male: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that Indo-Pacific region was "an inalienable part of our existence. It has been our lifeline, and also the highway for trade and prosperity."
Modi, who was addressing Maldives' parliament -- People's Majlis -- said: "Indo-Pacific region is an inalienable part of our existence. It has been our lifeline, and also the highway for trade and prosperity."
"It is also a region with many unanswered questions and unresolved disputes," he added.
Highlighting further the importance of Indo-Pacific region, Modi said: "It is a region with 50 per cent of the world's population, and enormous diversity of religions, culture, languages, history and political and economic systems."
Recalling his words said in Singapore in 2018 that everyone will have to work together for ensuring openness, integration, and balance in the Indo-Pacific, Modi said that this would only ensure trust among nations and rule-based order and multilateralism.
Taking about his pet initiative SAGAR, Modi said: "Four years ago, I articulated India's vision and commitment for the Indian Ocean in the form SAGAR, which is a word in Hindi meaning 'sea'. However, this acronym stands for Security and Growth for All in the Region, which is a blueprint for us for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. Today, I would like to once again stress this principle of inclusiveness."
Modi also reiterated that India will use its capabilities not only for her own prosperity and security but will also "endeavour" to develop the capacity of other countries in the region, to reach out to them in the times of disasters with humanitarian assistance, and work for shared security, prosperity and a bright future for all.
Asserting that India could not have a more suitable partner than the Maldives in realising this vision, he said: "Because we are maritime neighbours. Because we are friends. And there is no one big or small, strong or weak among friends. The foundation of a peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood rests on trust, goodwill, and cooperation."
Emphasising the age-old philosophy of "Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam," Modi said: "It is possible only when our mutual trust and confidence are strong not only in good times but also during difficulties. 'Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam' is both our philosophy and policy. It means that the whole world is but one family."
Reciting a quote of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Modi said: "The greatest man of our age, Mahatma Gandhi had said -- There is no limit to extending our services to our neighbours. India has always shared her achievements with the world and especially with her neighbours."
Prime Minister Modi's address to the Maldivian Parliament was one of the major highlights of his visit to the country. Earlier, he held bilateral talks with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohammad Solih....