India, Indonesia close ranks amidst Asia-Pacific tensions

India and Indonesia have agreed to further enhance bilateral defence cooperation in amidst rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region. The decision was taken at the Defence Ministers’ Dialogue held in New Delhi today.

The Indian delegation was headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh while the Indonesian delegation was led by his counterpart defence minister General Prabowo Subianto.
The Indonesian defence minister’s visit to India for strengthening ties between the two maritime neighbours comes at a time when China is posing a big threat to peace in the region and across India’s borders.   
During the talks, Rajnath 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. 
Conveying satisfaction on the military to military interactions, Rajnath Singh indicated that the defence cooperation between India and Indonesia has witnessed an upswing in recent years, which is in consonance with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two sides. Both the ministers agreed to further enhance the bilateral defence cooperation in mutually agreed areas. 
The two countries also identified potential areas of cooperation in the field of defence industries and defence technology. Both the ministers committed themselves to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in these areas and take them 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.  
Chief of Defence Staff and Secretary Department of Military Affairs General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and other senior civil and military officers also took part in the bilateral meeting. 
General Subianto was given ceremonial Guard of Honour on the lawns of South Block when he arrived for the dialogue. He was personally received by defence minister Rajnath Singh at the venue. Earlier, General Subianto visited the National War Memorial and laid a wreath as a mark of respect to the fallen heroes.