Rajnath and his Indonesian counterpart resolve to expand defence ties1 min read . Updated: 27 Jul 2020, 09:05 PM IST
Prabowo Subianto's visit to Delhi comes in the midst of tensions between India and China on their common border
NEW DELHI: India and close maritime neighbour Indonesia on Monday agreed to expand strategic cooperation to areas like technology sharing as the two countries explored ways to impart new momentum to their security partnership.
Exports of the BrahMos cruise missile, manufactured jointly by India and Russia to Indonesia and ways to deepen maritime security cooperation figured in the talks between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Indonesian counterpart General Prabowo Subianto, two people familiar with the development said. Subianto is in New Delhi on a visit despite the coronavirus pandemic that has severely restricted travel among countries. The visit comes in the midst of tensions between India and China on their common border. Earlier this year, tensions had brewed between China and Indonesia over the former exerting claims over the Natuna islands in the South China Sea. The tensions in the region escalated when Chinese fishing boats and coast guard vessels were seen in the waters around the islands that China says are part of its territory. News reports had said that Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Natuna islands to make a statement that he would not give up the islands and deployed fighter jets and warships in the region.
"Both the ministers (Singh and Subianto )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," a defence ministry statement said.
It said both Singh and Subianto committed 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 statement said without giving details.
India and Indonesia signed 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.