Emulating Nehru, PM may travel to Indonesia by sea

Emulating Nehru, PM may travel to Indonesia by sea

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had sailed to Indonesia onboard INS Delhi in June 1950 to meet President Sukarno. Sixty-eight years down the line, PM Narendra Modi could recreate history during his upcoming visit to the Southeast Asian nation from May 29-31.
Discussions are on if PM Modi could sail in a ship to cover some 80 nautical miles, or 100 km, to Aceh in northern Sumatra from Port Blair.
Plans are yet to be finalised but according to sources, the message would be to advocate enhanced maritime ties with a strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific. “India and Indonesia do not share any territorial disputes, which is significant to add momentum to the relationship. We expect the visit to be forward-looking,” said an official.
PM Modi will be in Indonesia prior to his Singapore visit where he will address the 17th IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies) Shangrila dialogue — first Indian PM to do so — on June 1. PM Modi will hold formal talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on May 30. A visit to the historic Hindu Prambanan temple in Yogyakarta and 9th century world’s largest Buddhist temple in Borubudur are likely. The two leaders could take a walk around some market or even fly kites — a passion in both Modi’s home state of Gujarat as well as Bali, which hosts a kite-flying festival each year. A cooperation on kite museums in both countries is likely.
In the month of Ramadan, countering terrorism and violent extremism will be on the table for talks. India is keen to have an interfaith and intercultural dialogue with Indonesia, the largest Muslim majority nation practising moderate Islam to promote the message of tolerance and pluralism. Indonesia held first such similar dialogue with Singapore last year. Regional security will also be key with renewal of defence cooperation, maritime agreement, technical cooperation on trains and space on the cards.
China’s OBOR (One Belt One Road) or BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) and the Indo-Pacific security are likely to figure in talks. Indonesia is not a part of the revived Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, India, Japan and Australia. But Jakarta has signed up for BRI, which has hit several delays in projects in Indonesia.