India and Indonesia vowed on Wednesday to strengthen security, trade and diplomatic relations between Asia's largest democracies as part of a new partnership.
The declaration came after talks between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is on a two-day official visit to New Delhi.
"This partnership, based on shared values and commitment to democracy and multilateralism, seeks to impart higher strategic and political dimensions to bilateral relations," a joint statement by the world largest Hindu and Muslim nations said.
On Tuesday, Yudhoyono called for greater defense cooperation between the neighbors after visiting a state aeronautical complex in the southern city of Bangalore before flying to Delhi.
The statement said both Jakarta and New Delhi wanted a strategic partnership "in keeping with contemporary realities."
It did not specify what these were but analysts said both were uneasy about Beijing's growing economic and military clout.
"Amid the changes in the region, including the rise of China and the new assertiveness of Japan, India and Indonesia find it necessary to launch a strategic partnership that will include defense cooperation," foreign policy analyst C. Raja Mohan said.
Landing the Big One
Friday, November 25, 2005