India, Indonesia discuss bilateral ties

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Jakarta, Jan 5 (IANS) India and Indonesia discussed bilateral ties across multiple sectors during the fifth Joint Commission meeting co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi here on Friday.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that both the leaders “reviewed trade, energy ties, defence cooperation and people-to-people links”.

Earlier in the day, Sushma Swaraj arrived here from Thailand on the second leg of her three-nation tour that will also see her going to Singapore.

The visit assumes significance given India’s increasing engagements with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) bloc under New Delhi’s Act East Policy.

New Delhi will host a commemorative summit on January to mark the 25th anniversary of the Dialogue Partnership between India and Asean in which all the leaders of the 10 Asean nations are expected to participate.

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The next day, in a unique first, all leaders will collectively attend this year’s Republic Day celebrations as chief guests.

As the biggest country in the Asean region with the largest economy, Indonesia is an important partner for India, including in trade and strategic matters.

In recent times, there have been intensive engagements between the two countries bilaterally as well as plurilaterally.

Prior to participating in the Joint Commission meeting, Sushma Swaraj called on Indonesian Vice President Muhammad Jusuf and engaged in discussion on “strengthening our strategic partnership”, according to Kumar.

The Indian Minister will leave for Singapore on Saturday where she will inaugurate this year’s Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on Sunday.

–IANS

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