India and Indonesia to step up defence cooperation
India and Indonesia decided to significantly enhance their defence cooperation with the Defence Minister A.K. Antony declaring his meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Purnomo Yusgiantoro as a ‘turning point’ and an ‘excellent beginning’. This was the first Ministerial level biennial defence dialogue between the two countries. The two sides exchanged views on a whole range of issues relating to regional and global security, bilateral exercises involving Services, training, co-production of defence equipment and ammunitions and visits at high levels.
The defence dialogue mechanism at the highest level was agreed upon during the visit of Indonesian President SusiloBambangYudhoyono to India in January last year.
Antony said the threat of terrorism perpetuated by State and non-State actors affects all of us equally. Antony said some times, the acts of individual terrorists and terrorist organisations are also actively or otherwise encouraged by allowing such organisations safe refuge and other forms of support. “It is seen that there are countries from where terrorists are free to launch their operations against other countries. This cannot be tolerated. The world is paying a heavy price for such mindless policies. No country should allow its territory to be used for any form of terrorism, directed against any other country or its people.”
Dealing at length the power rivalries in the Indian Ocean region (IoR), Antony said although these are being conducted in local theatres, the impact is felt in the wider regional arena and also globally. He said, we have a stake in the maintenance of peace and stability in our immediate and extended neighbourhood. This includes the entire Indian Ocean region to our east and west. “We have a vital stake in the evolution of balance security and cooperation mechanisms through which we can build consensus and pursue dialogue. We seek to improve our partnership with all countries in the Indian Ocean Region on bilateral basis as well as through multilateral for a like IONS, IOR-ARC etc,” he said.