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Maritime access, security cooperation imperative between India and Indonesia: experts

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Experts have pitched for greater maritime access and security cooperation between India and Indonesia, in the backdrop of Indonesian President Joko Widodo's visit to the country.

"Both India and Indonesia have not capitalised the promiximity between Andaman & Nicobar and Sumatra. It can be an essential maritime bridge not only because it promotes culture, commerce and trade, but as Malacca Strait is the most important trade route in the world carrying 15 million barrels of oil per day. 60,000 ships pass through the strait every year," said Vice Admiral Anup Singh (Retd) at a panel discussion here on Thursday.

"Both the countries should act together through maritime forces and other mechanisms to secure the region near Malacca Strait," he added.

Diplomat and former Ambassador to Indonesia, Amb Sudhir Devare said, "India stood by Indonesia during financial crisis and also when the country became a democracy. Commerce, culture, security needs to be developed between the two countries."

Speaking at the event, retired Prof Baladas Ghoshal, Secretary General, Society for Indian Ocean Studies, said, both India and Indonesia have to look for opportunities for co-operation in terms of Maritime security and other concerns regarding strategic issues in both Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

"Though Strategic Partnership was signed between India and Indonesia in a number of areas, it has not progressed much. I hope the recent visit of the president will look into the aspect," he added.

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