India, Indonesia will promote cooperation in combating terror, curbing money-laundering
In an attempt to make bilateral ties comprehensive, India and Indonesia will sign nearly three dozen memoranda of understanding or agreements during President Susilo Bamgbang Yudhoyono's visit beginning on Monday.
India will focus on forging closer ties in energy, defence and investment during the visit of Mr. Yudhoyono, who will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations, official sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Mr. Yudhoyono previously visited India in November 2005, when bilateral ties were elevated to the strategic level. The current visit will allow both sides to review the action plan signed in June 2007 to fill the ties with content and vigour. Among the agreements to be signed will be those meant to enhance India's energy security. Indian companies already source very high grade coal from Indonesia, and Mr. Yudhoyono's visit will enable them to step up sourcing and investment in Indonesian mines.
The two sides will also sign MoUs or agreements for cooperation in combating terror, extradition, curbing money-laundering and exchange of information on criminal activities to symbolise their political proximity.
“The entry point to the Malacca Straits is of crucial importance to worldwide shipping. That controls access to not only the northern Bay of Bengal but also to the Pacific Ocean. So, we have an ongoing, very intensive cooperation with Indonesia in naval patrolling [and] bilateral exercises, both with the Navy and the Coast Guard. That has been going on very well,” Joint Secretary (South) in the MEA, Arun Goyal, said.
Mr. Yudhoyono arrives on January 24, but his official engagements will begin on Tuesday. India and Indonesia recently completed a joint study for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).