India and Indonesia resolve to expand defence ties
New Delhi, July 27 (PTI): India and Indonesia on Monday agreed to expand strategic cooperation in a range of areas including defence industries and technology sharing, as the two maritime neighbours looked at injecting a new momentum to their security partnership.
The possible areas of further expansion of defence and military ties were discussed during talks between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Indonesian counterpart General Prabowo Subianto, officials said.
Reflecting the importance Indonesia attaches to its strategic ties with India, Subianto arrived here on Sunday for the talks, notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic.
Sources said the issue of possible export of BrahMos cruise missile to Indonesia by India and ways to further deepen maritime security cooperation figured prominently in the talks.
“Both the ministers agreed to further enhance the bilateral defence cooperation in mutually agreed areas. Potential areas of cooperation in the field of defence industries and defence technology were also identified by the two countries,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
It said both Singh and Subianto committed themselves to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in these areas and take the defence ties to the “next level of deliverables.”
“The meeting ended on a positive note with a commitment to further strengthen and widen the scope of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” the ministry said, without giving details.
India and Indonesia have robust cooperation in the area of defence and security.
The two countries inked a new defence cooperation agreement in 2018 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indonesia. The pact was aimed at reflecting the elevation of relationship between the two countries to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
In Monday’s talks, Defence Minister Singh reiterated the long history of mutually beneficial interactions between the two countries with a tradition of close political dialogue, economic and trade linkages as well as cultural and people-to-people interactions.
Officials said both sides explored a range of areas to further expand the strategic cooperation including in the field of defence industries and technology sharing.
It is understood that China’s aggressive posturing in eastern Ladakh and South China Sea figured in the talks, but there was no official confirmation about it.
Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar were among the key officials who were part of the Indian delegation.
Earlier, General Subianto was given a ceremonial guard of honour on the lawns of South Block when he arrived for the defence dialogue. The Indonesian defence minister also visited the National War Memorial and laid a wreath as a mark of respect to the fallen soldiers.