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Five Years After Manmohan Singh, Modi Set To Visit Indonesia Around June

Modi’s visit holds significance as Indonesia has been a steady ally of India in key areas, including cooperation in maritime defence.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:April 25, 2018, 9:41 AM IST
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Five Years After Manmohan Singh, Modi Set To Visit Indonesia Around June
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to visit Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim populated country, a month from now.

Sources told News18 that while a date has not been fixed, it has been decided that the PM will go around the same time as the head of Singapore. Modi will deliver the keynote address at the prestigious annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 1.

“The PM’s visit will either be before the Shangri-La dialogue or right after it. Which essentially means that the visit will happen between the last week of May and the first week of June,” sources told News18.

Modi’s visit holds significance as Indonesia has been a steady ally of India in key areas, including cooperation in maritime defence. When Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited India in December 2016, the leaders issued a joint statement on Maritime Cooperation which mandates both sides to draw up a MoU for cooperation in this area; and agreed to annual meetings of the leaders. The two sides agreed to commence strategic dialogue, security dialogue and to negotiate a new comprehensive defence cooperation agreement.

Interestingly, like India, Indonesia also goes to polls in 2019. The visit may help boost credentials for both leaders, as far as foreign policy is concerned.

Widodo has, time and again, asserted that he wishes to see Indonesia as a force to reckon with in the maritime sector and he reaffirmed his vision during his visit to India earlier this year for the ASEAN Summit. Indonesia is also South East Asia’s largest economy which also accounts to almost one-third of the ASEAN economy.

As far as trade with India is concerned, as per government estimates, bilateral trade touched approximately $13.43 billion dollars during 2016-17.

It is after five years that an Indian PM is visiting the nation. Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited Indonesia in October 2013. During the visit, MOUs on various issues were signed, including those on curbing illicit trafficking in narcotics, disaster management and combating corruption.

The two countries, in 2013, had also committed to strengthening partnership in areas of strategic engagement, defence and security cooperation, comprehensive economic partnership, and culturally too.
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