India and Indonesia sign 15 agreements

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Both acknowledges need to maintain maritime safety and security for peace, stability Indo-Pacific region

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Indonesia from 29th May to 30th May on invitation of Indonesian Presiden Joko Widodo. It was his first visit to Indonesia as Prime Minister. Also he addressed Indian diaspora in Indonesia. The visit strengthened bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The two countries condemned terrorism in all its forms, as Mr. Modi held “productive discussions” with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. The two countries also signed 15 agreements, including one to boost defence cooperation, and called for freedom of navigation in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 30 began his Indonesia visit by paying homage to martyrs of Indonesian independence struggle as he laid a wreath at the Kalibata National Heroes’ Cemeteryin Jakarta.

During the tour both countries issued joint statement. They said in the statement “Both India and Indonesia are maritime neighbours and sea faring nations, whose relations are rooted in civilizational contacts developed through the seas and who share similar perceptions of the evolving maritime environment in the region and world at large.”

Both recognized that with a coastline of 7,500 kms, with more than 1,380 islands and more than two million sq. km of Exclusive Economic Zone, India occupies a central position in the Indo-Pacific, while Indonesia as the largest archipelagic State in the world, with a coastline of 108,000 kms, with 17,504 islands and features and a total of maritime areas of 6,400,000 sq. km including Exclusive Economic Zone, is a fulcrum that connects the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The two oceans represent a combined maritime region which is important for global maritime trade and commerce;

The visit acknowledged the need to maintain maritime safety and security for peace, stability and sustainable economic growth and development in the maritime waters of the Indo-Pacific region as enshrined by UNCLOS and relevant international laws;

Appreciated the leadership role played by Indonesia and India as previous Chairs of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to build a more peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean region through enhanced cooperation as mandated in the Jakarta Concord and Plan of Action as the results of the IORA Leaders’ Summit held in March 2017 in Jakarta to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the IORA;

Both noted that free and open seas, as regulated by UNCLOS, are essential for peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the international community;

They underscored the importance to address the emerging maritime security issues facing the Indo-Pacific region including the smuggling of people, arms, drugs and money; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; and the movement of terrorists.