Stressing that the Russia-Ukraine conflict has raised a question mark over stability of international order, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called for greater cooperation among BIMSTEC nations and said it has become essential to give more priority to "our regional security".
In his opening remarks at the fifth BIMSTEC Summit being held online, Prime Minister Modi said that with the region facing challenges of health and economic security, the need of the hour is unity and cooperation.
"Today is the time to make the Bay of Bengal bridge of connectivity, bridge of prosperity, bridge of security," he said. Modi said India will provide USD 1 million (one million is equal to ten lakhs) in financial aid to augment the operational budget of the BIMSTEC secretariat.
He said the region has not remained untouched by today's challenging global scenario. "Our economies, our people, are still suffering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.