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India committed to furthering close defence ties with Indonesia: Envoy

Gurjit Singh said presence of two commanders-in-chief of the two navies at both the opening and closing ceremonies made this the highest level of interaction

IANS  |  Jakarta 

As the navies of India and Indonesia engaged in a joint exercise on the waters off Indonesia, India's Ambassador Gurjit Singh said the country is committed to furthering close defence ties with Indonesia.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 23rd edition of the joint naval exercise between the two countries, code-named INDINDO CORPAT, earlier this month, Ambassador Singh expressed his confidence that the contemporary strategic partnership between these two maritime neighbours would be strengthened in the future, according to an Indian embassy statement issued Wednesday.

Singh pointed out that the presence of the two commanders-in-chief of the two navies at both the opening and closing ceremonies made this the highest level of interaction during the INDINDO CORPAT between the two navies since its inception.

He added that the Indian embassy in Jakarta under his leadership was committed to furthering the close defence ties the two countries enjoy.

The 23rd edition of INDINDO CORPAT started at Port Blair in India's Andaman & Nicobar Islands April 14 and concluded in the port city Belwan-Medan, in Indonesia's Sumatra May 3.

Under the broad ambit of a bilateral strategic partnership, Indonesia's navy TNI AL and the Indian Navy carry out coordinated patrolling twice a year near the Maritime Boundary Line to keep this vital part of the Indian Ocean region safe and secure for commercial shipping and trade.

The Parchim Class Corvette KRI Imam Bonjol and the Indonesian navy's latest indigenously built maritime patrol aircraft CN 235 participated in the exercise.

Rear Admiral Arief Rudianto, the commander-in-chief of Indonesia's Western Fleet Command, and Air Marshal P.K. Roy, the commander-in-chief of India's Andaman Nicobar Command, were the two senior officers who attended the closing ceremony.

During his visit, Ambassador Singh also called on the governor of the Indonesian province of North Sumatra, Gatot Pujonogroho.

The ambassador said that the close geographical proximity between North Sumatra and India has always encouraged trade over the centuries. It now needs to be diversified towards new investment in infrastructure, tourism and healthcare.

The governor, on his part, promised that his administration would extend all assistance in this regard.

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First Published: Wed, May 07 2014. 17:33 IST