India,Indonesia provide bulwark against radicalism intolerance: President Mukherjee

The President spoke of how Indonesia is India's top trade partner in the region and how bilateral trade can benefit both the countries.

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has said that India and Indonesia provide a bulwark against radicalism and intolerance.

Welcoming the President of Indonesia to India, the President said India and Indonesia have has age-old bilateral ties. The two countries share a common experience of struggle for freedom from colonial rule.

President Mukherjee on Monday received Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife Madame Iriana Widodo at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also hosted a banquet in their honour.

The President said India welcomes Indonesia's emergence as a vibrant democracy.

"India attaches high importance to Indonesia's success as a pluralistic democracy with an open society based on the shared values of syncretism, tolerance and respect for diversity. India values its cooperation with Indonesia to address these common security concerns and trans-national threats. Our proximity as close maritime neighbours indicates that this is a key area where we must work together as partners to achieve for strategic stability and security in the Indo-Pacific and safety and security of sea lanes," he added.

The President said Indonesia is the largest economy in ASEAN and India's number one trade partner in the region.

"Our bilateral trade was about US$16 billion last year. We can try to realise the actual potential of our trade by diversifying our trade basket. India would value Indonesia's active support for strengthening India-ASEAN relations during 2017 when we will be celebrating 15 years of Summit level interaction," he added.

Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Mukherjee said Indonesia and India helped to write the closing chapters of colonialism and started the Non-Aligned Movement.

"India looks forward to work with Indonesia to achieve the full potential of economic co-operation, maritime and air links and in increasing reciprocal investments. India would be happy to contribute to Indonesia's 'maritime fulcrum vision' of Indonesia Nusantaraand, thereby, also to the security of the Indo-Pacific region. In the multilateral and global context of facing the common challenges of the 21st Century, India and Indonesia, together, are factors of stability for the world," he added.

( Source : ANI )
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