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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh holds 'fruitful' discussions with Indonesian counterpart

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Indonesian counterpart Gen Prabowo Subianto on Thursday exchanged views on regional security situation and underlined the need for a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law.

In a telephonic conversation, Singh and Gen Subianto expressed commitment to further elevate engagements between the armed forces of the two countries under the framework of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, the defence ministry said.

"The two ministers exchanged views on the security situation in the region and the need for a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law," it said.

There has been growing concern over China's military assertiveness in the Indian Ocean as well as in the Indo-Pacific region.

Singh described the discussions as "fruitful and substantive".

"Spoke to the Defence Minister of Indonesia, General Prabowo Subianto today. We had fruitful and substantive discussions on bilateral defence engagements," Singh said in a tweet.

"India is committed to enhance the defence engagements with Indonesia as part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," he added.

Defence and security cooperation between India and Indonesia has been on an upward trajectory in the last few years, particularly in the maritime domain.

"During the telephonic conversation, the ministers reviewed the progress on various bilateral defence cooperation initiatives and expressed commitment to further elevate engagements between the armed forces under the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership," the ministry said in a statement.

"The ministers agreed that both countries need to enhance cooperation in the defence industry and technology domain, and look forward to even greater synergy in this field," it said.

Indonesia is an important country of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

A number of ASEAN member nations have territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons.

There has been mounting global criticism against China over its military assertiveness in the South China Sea region.

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India  Indonesia  Defence  

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