Ind-Indonesia ink 12 pacts; $15.1 bn in biz deals

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New Delhi, Jan 26: India is undergoing a huge growth spurt as it celebrates its 62nd Republic Day today (Jan 26). President Pratibha Patil hosted a banquet in honour of the Indonesian President,  President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who is the Chief Guest of the Republic Day parade this year.

Patil referred to the old relationship between the two countries from the days of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the first President of Indonesia Sukarno and pressed the need for giving "a new momentum" to it.

"We attach great importance to our relations with Indonesia not only at the bilateral level but also as a regional partner and as a friend in ASEAN. Relations with ASEAN are at the heart of India''s Look East Policy and Indonesia is central to Asean," the President Patil said.

Maintaining that the country deeply valued the support Indonesia extended in promoting India-ASEAN engagement, Patil also chose the occassion to congratulate Yudhoyono on his country taking over the Chairmanship of ASEAN this year.

She said that the two countries "can and must work together in fora like the UN, WTO and G-20 on global issues."

Patil also referred to the menace of terrorism in her speech saying "our two countries have suffered from terrorist attacks targeting innocent civilians. These tragic incidents remind us that we must remain resolute and persevere in our determination to root out terrorism."

She also expressed her pleasure over the two countries signing a range of new agreements and MoUs during the Indonesian President''s visit here and hoped these will further consolidate the ties and take the bilateral relationship to a new level.


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