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ASEAN meet: Salman Khurshid to visit Brunei, Singapore

NEW DELHI: External Affairs MinisterSalman Khurshid will travel to BruneiDarussalam next week where he will participate in a series of high-level ministerial meetings with ASEAN during which crucial economic and security issues in the region will be on the agenda. 

Khurshid, who will leave for Brunei on June 30, will attend the 20th ASEAN Regional
Forum (ARF) and the 3rd East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Minister's Meeting apart from 11th India-ASEAN ministerial conference on July 1-2, spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said today. 

The minister will then travel to 
Singapore on a bilateral visit where he will also address a conference of Heads of Missions in Asia before returning on June 4. 

The EAS meet would discuss cooperation in the five key areas of education, energy,
finance, disaster management and pandemics apart from connectivity and further economic partnership between member states. The meeting is also expected to prepare for the Summit later this year. 

During the ARF meeting, ways to enhance political and security cooperation between the various ASEAN countries will be discussed. Set up in 1994, the ARF has 27 members. 

On the sidelines of ARF, Khurshid will have bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of various countries including China, Bangladesh and Australia, the spokesperson said, adding many other meetings were also in the pipeline. 

In the India-ASEAN meeting, proposal on two crucial issues of food security and track-II study group will also be unveiled from ASEAN side, the spokesperson said. 

These meetings come at a time when experts have been talking about the evolving security architecture in Asia where India is seen as a key player by the ASEAN countries. 

In Singapore, Khurshid will hold talks with his Singaporean counterpart and will call on the Prime Minister and other senior ministers.