Navy chief visits Indonesia today to bolster bilateral ties
Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will hold talks with his Indonesian counterpart to further strengthen bilateral ties during his five-day visit there starting Monday. The visit aims to consolidate existing maritime cooperation initiatives with Indonesia as well as explore new avenues in accordance with India’s ‘Act East Policy.’
During the visit, Lanba will hold discussions with Indonesian Defence Minister, Chief of Defence Forces, Chief of Indonesian Navy, besides other Senior Dignitaries and Naval Officers.
India and Indonesia have historical linkages which date back centuries. In the modern era, India and Indonesia have been co-founders of the Non Aligned Movement besides mutually beneficial collaborations in multilateral forums such as, ARF, ADMM+, G20 and WTO.
Defence co-operation between India and Indonesia is robust and has seen ascendency through regular ships, aircraft and military delegation visits and training exchanges. Both countries had also signed the Defence Cooperation Agreement in 2001. Indonesia have adjoining Maritime Search and Rescue regions and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and share similar maritime challenges such as long coastline, extensive EEZ, coastal security, large coastal shipping and fishing fleet, wherein both navies have opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences. In addition, common ground exists for cooperation on a number of issues common to both navies.
With shared maritime boundary, Maritime Cooperation between the Indian and Indonesian Navies has been robust and one of the strong pillars of bilateral Defence cooperation. Indian Navy and Indonesian Navy are partners in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a maritime cooperation construct conceptualised and pioneered by Indian Navy in 2008. Both countries have been conducting Coordinated Patrols along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) since 2002 and 27 editions of coordinated patrols have been completed till date. Both countries had also conducted the first Bilateral Maritime Exercise in Oct 2015. Warships of both countries visit each other’s ports regularly.
Both Navies also engage in Navy to Navy Staff Talks which commenced in 2007. The 8th round of staff talks are scheduled to be held in 2017. Indonesian Navy was one of the first countries to confirm their participation in the International Fleet Review 2016 held at Visakhapatnam and participated in the review with a Ship.
The Chief of the Indonesian Navy Admiral Ade Supandi also attended the Review and held bilateral discussions with the Chief of Naval Staff. Indian Navy too participated in the International Fleet Review conducted by the Indonesian Navy in Apr 2016 as well as the Multilateral Exercise Komodo (MNEK) conducted by the Indonesian Navy.