Indonesia-India military ties are on high : Diplomat

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Kochi, Nov 21 (UNI) Indonesian Ambassador to India Andi M Ghalib today said the military ties between Indonesia and India were on a high following the signing of MoU on 'New Strategic Partnership' in 2005.

Addressing mediapersons onboard Indonesian warship ''KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda-367,'' Mr Ghalib said after the MoU had been signed, there were yearly navy-to-navy talks, bi-annual co-ordinating patrol, exchange training and visit between the two navies.

He said the bilateral relations would get a fillip through the forthcoming visit of Indian President Pratibha Patil from November 28 to December 3.

''Indonesia is a regular participant of the 'MILAN' programme off the Andaman coast and presently four Indonesian naval personnel are undergoing training in Kochi,'' he said.

Mr Ghalib noted that India was also a regular participant in the 'Command and Staff College' of the three services in Indonesia.

Commenting on the military ties, Mr Ghalib said '' with the growing concern over the Malacca Strait, we believe that the co-operation between the two countries, will deny any illegal activities in the Strait and would make it a safe sea route.'' When asked whether US President-elect Barack Obama, who had spent about five years in Indonesia, would have cordial relations with the country, Mr Ghalib said '' we are expecting good relations with the US as Mr Obama had spent quite a lot of time in our country.'' Touching on the pertinent problem of piracy off the Somalian coast, Mr Ghalib said it was a serious issue and should be dealt with sternly.

He also appreciated the recent efforts of the Indian Navy to save cargo ships from pirate attacks.

Ship Commandant C Ariantyo said the ship, which was on her maiden voyage from Netherlands, where it was built, to Indonesia, was the third vessel out of four Sigma Corvette class that the Indonesian Navy had ordered from the Dutch.

During its docking at the Kochi Port, Navy personnel will have exchange visits, sports activities and reception both in the naval base and onboard ship with Indian Navy, he said.

The naval ship, which berthed here yesterday, would leave for the home country tomorrow.


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