Defence Minister A.K. Antony will pay a three-day visit to Indonesia from Monday to participate in the first ministerial-level defence dialogue between the two countries.

“The defence dialogue mechanism at the highest level was agreed upon during the visit of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to India in January last year,” the Defence Ministry said in a release here on Friday.

Mr. Antony is expected to hold discussions on issues of bilateral defence cooperation and regional and maritime security, it said. Defence ties between India and Indonesia have been progressing steadily ever since the two sides signed the Agreement on Defence Cooperation in 2001.

Navies of the two countries carry out regular coordinated patrols along their international maritime boundary line and their armies also held their first-ever exercise this year.

To meet Yudhoyono

During the visit, Mr. Antony is likely to call on President Yudhoyono and meet Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

Mr. Antony will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, which will include Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, Vice-Admiral S.P.S. Cheema, and Director General of Ordnance Factory Board S.K. Beri.