The honorary visit was a reciprocal gesture after Minister Ryacudu had visited India as a speaker at the Raisina Dialogue Forum and the Biennial Meeting in January 2018.
Head of the Ministry of Defense`s Public Communication Center Brig. Gen. Totok Sugiharto remarked that defense cooperation between India and Indonesia provided a legal umbrella in the form of the Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) signed on January 11, 2001, in Jakarta.
The DCA has been revised jointly and circularly signed by both parties in May 2018. The document has been ceremonially handed over in conjunction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s visit to Indonesia in May 2018.
According to Sugiharto, Indonesia and India currently have three bilateral forums in the fields of defense and security: the Biennial Meeting at the level of defense minister, Joint Defense Cooperation Committee (JDCC) at the level of secretary general, and Indonesia-India Security Dialogue (IISD) at the level of coordinating minister for politics and security.
Meanwhile, the cooperation between Indonesia, India, and Australia in the field of defense does not yet have an appropriate framework, considering the principles of mutual trust, benefit, and respect that need to be built by the three countries.
The three countries cooperating still also hold different perspectives on several security issues, such as on the South China Sea dispute, defense pacts, and the position of each country towards competition between the United States and China.
Indonesia consistently implements a free and active foreign policy, Sugiharto stated.
Regarding strategic cooperation in the defense industry, Indonesia highly lauds the memorandum of understanding (MoU) sent by Bharat Electronic Ltd, India, to Indonesian electronics company PT Len that is expected to be signed at the 2018 Indo Defense Expo and Forum in Jakarta.
"In principle, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Indonesia will continue to support efforts to strengthen cooperation in the defense industry between Indonesia and India," Sugiharto remarked.
Both countries are also optimistic of other forms of cooperation being followed up, such as production of components for radar and sonar systems. Currently, the MoU is under internal discussion of PT Len and is expected to be completed soon.
At the meeting of the two ministers, Indonesia also praised India`s advanced technology for long-range missiles.
"This technology is in line with Indonesia`s plan that is currently building seven national flagship programs in the defense industry, one of which is missile technology. Bilateral meeting between Indonesia and India needs to be continued in order to maintain defense cooperation between the two countries," he added.
Reporting by Syaiful Hakim
Editing by Libertina