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Modi in Indonesia: 15 pacts inked; Modi, Widodo display cultural connect through kite-flying

By Shubham

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday, May 30, during his maiden trip to the Southeast Asian nation. After delegation-level talks occurred between the two countries at the Merdeka Palace, one of Indonesia's presidential palaces, the two heads of government issued a joint statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, flies kites with Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the India-Indonesia kite exhibition in Jakarta, Indonesia

Modi said India stands by the side of Indonesia in its fight against terror and condemned the recent terror attacks in the archipelago that led to deaths of several people. He also said that India's partnership with the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) can guarantee peace in not only Indo-Pacific region but even beyond it.

He also added that India's Act East Policy and the vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region) are in tune with President Widodo's global maritime fulcrum policy.

Modi and Widodo discussed steps to upgrade India-Indonesia relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The two countries also signed 15 agreements including one on cooperation in defence.

The two leaders also issued a shared vision of New Delhi and Jakarta on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

In a display of the two countries' soft power connection, Modi and Widodo inaugurated the first joint kite exhibition themed on the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Later in the day, Modi addressed the Indian community in Indonesia. During his speech, he also mentioned about the humble background that he shares with Widodo, who was also elected as the president of Indonesia in 2014, the same year Modi stormed New Delhi.

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