Jakarta, Oct 11: India and Indonesia Friday agreed to evolve a comprehensive action plan for a meaningful security cooperation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reaffirming the importance of strategic partnership between the two Asian countries.
In his statement after delegation-level talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yodhoyono, the prime minister said he had requested for early ratification by Indonesia of the extradition and the mutual legal assistance treaties.
“We agreed to continue the process of intensifying our political exchanges and stressed for early implementation of our bilateral initiatives,” he said.
The prime minister said Indonesia was one of India’s most valued partners in its “Look East Policy”.
He said bilateral relations were growing rapidly and the two countries had many convergent interests and responsibilities in regional and global forums.
“As maritime neighbours along one of the most critical sea links in the world, we also have shared interests in maritime security,” he said.
Manmohan Singh said the two sides have agreed to deepen partnership in political, security, economic, people-to-people and international issues.
“We reiterated our resolve to boost bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism, organised crime, drug and human trafficking and counterfeiting,” he said.
The prime minister noted the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in disaster management and combating narcotics trafficking signed Friday will also give more substance to security cooperation.
Referring to the four-fold growth in trade in the past seven years, he said early conclusion of a bilateral comprehensive economic cooperation agreement would greatly expand and diversify economic relations.
“We agreed that improved connectivity, early implementation of India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership would be important in this regard,” he said.
The prime minister said the two sides agreed to boost space cooperation.
India has offered to assist the Indonesian government in setting up a vocational training centre in Papua, after the successful experience of those established in Jakarta and Banda Aceh.
The two countries decided to establish chairs of Indian and Indonesian studies in each other’s universities and further expand scholarships programme and encourage training and research partnerships.
Manmohan Singh conveyed India’s appreciation for Indonesia’s strong support for the evolution of India’s strategic partnership with ASEAN.
He said Indian valued Indonesia’s leadership role in the ASEAN and the association’s effort in fostering broader regional cooperation and integration.
Referring to the Indonesian president’s suggestion for cooperation in the fields of food security and counter-terrorism between India and ASEAN at the India-ASEAN Summit at Brunei Thursday, Manmohan Singh said he had directed officials to work towards concrete proposals in this regard.
“India-ASEAN partnership is a force for peace and shared prosperity in our region,” he said.
He said the discussions and the agreements signed Friday “will add new meaning and content to the strategic partnership” between India and Indonesia.