Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called upon the ASEAN nations to “jointly address” the challenge of terrorism by “intensifying cooperation” in the crucial area.

Addressing the at the 15th India-ASEAN Summit for promoting greater synergy and economic integration, Modi said the “menace of terror” threatens every country.

“We have suffered due to the menace of terror. The time has come for us to unite and think about mitigating terrorism,” Modi said.

“We have individually strived very hard to fight terrorism and violent extremism. It is time that we jointly address this challenge by intensifying cooperation in this crucial area,” he added.

Congratulating ASEAN on completing 50 years, Modi said it was an occasion of pride, joy and a time to think ahead about what we can achieve.

“India places ASEAN at the core of our ‘Act East Policy.’ Our ties with ASEAN are old and we want to further strengthen cooperation.”

“Our wide-ranging agenda of cooperation under the 3rd ASEAN-India Plan of Action has progressed well covering the three crucial pillars of politico-security, economic and cultural partnership,” he said.

“The 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN Leaders as our Chief Guests at India’s 69th Republic Day Celebrations. I am committed to working with you to realize our common destiny,” he said further.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi reiterated India’s commitment to work with ASEAN nations to address the political, security and economic issues of the region.

Modi began the day by meeting leaders of five countries, including Japan and Australia.

This year marks the 25th year of the India-ASEAN dialogue partnership and the golden jubilee of the formation of the ASEAN regional bloc.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.