India to host 6th Mekong-Ganga meet

Ahead of the India-ASEAN commemorative summit in December, New Delhi will host the sixth ministerial meeting of the six-nation Mekong-Ganga cooperation initiative on Tuesday, with the objective of strengthening connectivity, and promoting cultural and tourism exchanges. This will be the first meeting after a four-year hiatus, and for the first time New Delhi will be hosting the meeting.

The meeting will witness participation of five Mekong region countries Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will chair the meeting, which will focus on speeding up connectivity and exploring ways to boost economic, cultural and tourism exchanges.

On Monday, senior officials of the participating countries will meet to firm up the agenda.

The Mekong-Ganga meet comes ahead of the ASEAN-India commemorative summit here in December to mark the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India partnership and the 10th anniversary of ASEAN-India Summit-level partnership.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister H O R Namhong, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Myanmarese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs U Maung Myint, Thailand Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Jullapong Nonscrichai and Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh will participate in the meeting.

The grouping was formed in 2000 to leverage cultural and civilisational affinities among riparian states of the Ganga and Mekong rivers.

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