India, Indonesia seek to take ties to ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, India and Indonesia have sought to elevate the bilateral relationship to a New Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, according to the Vision Document 2025, the details of which were released by the Ministry of External Affairs here on Tuesday.

“Together, our two nations comprise one-fifth of humanity, with a combined GDP of more than $3 trillion, and form two of Asia’s largest nations and the world’s fast growing emerging economies,” the document says.

It stated that in the 20th century, India and Indonesia were among the first nations to declare independence after World War II, initiated the Afro-Asian and Non-Aligned Movements, and actively promoted multilateralism, decolonisation, disarmament and North-South dialogue as well as South-South cooperation.

“In no small measure, these achievements helped shape the world order,” the document said.

Indonesia is among the largest of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional grouping, which is the focus of New Delhi’s Act East Policy.

The bid to elevate this relationship is significant following India elevating its relationship with another Southeast Asian nation, Vietnam, “Strategic Partnership” to “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”, during Modi’s visit there in September this year.

“In the 21st century, as they anticipate an uncertain world filled with promise and peril, it is high time for India and Indonesia to elevate their relations to a New Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” the Vision Document said.

“This partnership must be robust, forward-looking and multi-sectoral. The partnership must also carry significant impact, both to their bilateral cooperation and the regional order, commensurate with the strategic weight of India and Indonesia.”

The Document said that “the elevated partnership must build upon the long history of diplomatic, political, economic,and socio-cultural relations that have been cultivated over decades and centuries, but, more importantly, it must also seize the boundless opportunities, live up to the enormous economic potential each has to offer, add value to their national development, and contribute to regional stability and world peace”.

“By 2025, this elevated Partnership shall evolve with significant breadth and depth, particularly in the five major areas of cooperation set forth in 2013: strategic engagement, defence and security cooperation, comprehensive economic partnership, cultural and people to people links, and cooperation in responding to common challenges,” it stated.

“By 2025, the Partnership shall contribute to a more durable Asian order, marked by peaceful relations among the major powers, win-win cooperation involving all the countries in the region, open regionalism, resolution and/or reduction of conflicts, and the prevalence of strategic trust.”

Widodo’s was the first presidential visit from Indonesia to India in nearly six years since the visit of then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in January 2011.

–IANS

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