India seeks to renew traditional friendship with Indonesia, Brunei

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New Delhi, Nov 2: Indian Vice President M. Hamid Ansari has said that India enjoys close and cordial relations with both Indonesia and Brunei, and would seek to renew its friendship during the ongoing visit.

He was addressing a Press Conference onboard the special flight enroute to Indonesia and Brunei on a 5-day official visit on Sunday.

He emphasized that as a maritime neighbour and a strategic partner with a number of cultural similarities, including its own multicultural and multi-linguistic character, India has traditionally enjoyed close relations with Indonesia. On the economic side, he said that there exists about 20 bn dollar trade between these two nations and India’s investments in Indonesia have also been increasing. India is also an important buyer of Indonesian palm oil and coal. ‘This is a relationship that our successive leaderships have cultivated over the years’, he added.

Reacting to a question on security cooperation with Indonesia, Ansari said that India has cooperation at the level of Defence Ministries and between Armed forces, as well as on internal security. On skill development, the he said that India is offering a number of scholarships under various programmes to Indonesia.

On India’s relationship with Brunei, the Vice President said that the Kingdom has been very friendly to India, and we have been maintaining cordial relations with the country. On the economic side, he mentioned that India imports almost one billion dollar worth of crude oil, and that there was a large Indian community in Brunei which was making its contribution in the field of medicine, education and business.

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