The Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, received the Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of the Republic of India to ASEAN, H.E. Mr. Gurjit Singh, in a ceremony held at the ASEAN Secretariat today. Ambassador Singh succeeds H.E. Mr. Biren Nanda who completed his tenure as the Ambassador of the Republic of India to ASEAN earlier in March. Ambassador Singh, who is based in Jakarta, is concurrently Ambassador of the Republic of India to Indonesia and accredited to Timor Leste.

Dr. Surin congratulated Ambassador Singh as the new Ambassador of India to ASEAN and expressed his confidence that the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations would be further substantiated through effective facilitation and coordination among Ambassador Singh, the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

Ambassador Singh expressed his gratitude to ASEAN and its Member States for accepting him as the new Ambassador of the Republic of India to ASEAN and reiterated that India attached great importance to ASEAN, which has been one of the country’s priorities in conducting its foreign policy.

In their brief yet fruitful discussion, Dr. Surin and Ambassador Singh discussed some matters such as preparations for the Special ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit—which will be held on 20-21 December 2012, the ASEAN-India Car Rally, and the Sail Training Ship “Sudershini” on an Expedition to ASEAN Member States.

ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations have grown rapidly from a sectoral dialogue partnership in 1992 to a full dialogue partnership in December 1995. The relationship was further elevated with the convening of the first ASEAN-India Summit in 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This year, ASEAN and India are celebrating their 20th Anniversary of Dialogue Relations and both sides are working to elevate the dialogue relations to a higher plane.