Slew of pacts & arrangements including in defence sector and security could be concluded during the visit

NEW DELHI: India and SE Asia's biggest nation Indonesia will seek to expand their maritime connectivity including direct shipping links, cruise shipping and coastal shipping between Andaman& Nicobar Islands and Aceh during PM Narendra Modi's 3-day May 29-31 trip to Indonesia.

Maritime neighbours Delhi and Jakarta share similar perspectives on stability and multi-polar Indo-Pacific region amid China's ambitions in the region and BRI projects. The Indian PM and his host Indonesian President will hold threadbare dialogue on how on aligning their maritime domain policies which are similar in nature, persons familiar with the development told ET.

While being maritime neighbours which are separated by less than 100 miles, maritime links between the two states are weak and the PM’s trip is aimed expanding maritime connectivity. India is keen to assist Indonesia in developing the port in Sabang in Aceh close to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The two sides will seek to put in place a mechanism for information sharing in the maritime domain to check both non-traditional and traditional security threats.

Slew of pacts & arrangements including in defence sector and security could be concluded during the visit that will also witness two leaders focusing on counter-terror and de-radicalisation initiatives, hinted one of persons quoted above. Indonesia, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, has launched a program to deradicalise Islamic State returnees. A key element of Indonesia’s deradicalisation initiatives is emphasis on syncretic Islam and centuries old local tradition.

While the PM will seek to enhance Indian investments in Indonesia during his meet with business community in Jakarta, a key element in his itinerary will be his participation at a kite flying event near Jakarta. However, his visit to Borobudur temple has been postponed as of now due to volanic eruption in Mount Merapi. Borobudur is surrounded by mountains, including twin volcanoes; Mount Merbabu and Merapi.

Borobudur is the world’s biggest Buddhist temple built in the ninth century AD. India’s first PM J L Nehru visited Borobudur temple in 1950.

The temple demonstrates the influences of Gupta art that reflects India’s cultural influence on the region, yet there are enough indigenous scenes and elements incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian.