Aceh-Andaman-Nicobar connectivity

External Affairs Minister of India Dr S Jaishankar and Indonesia’s foreign minister Retno Marsudi discussed issues including the Aceh and Andaman Nicobar Island connectivity recently.

Highlights

Both the countries had decided to cooperate in connectivity between Andaman & Nicobar Island and Aceh Province of Indonesia, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indonesia in 2018. During 2018 visit, both sides also decided to set up a joint task force for undertaking projects for port-related infrastructure around the Sabang.

Distance between both the countries

Sabang port in Aceh is about 90 nautical miles from Indian islands of Andaman & Nicobar. Sabang is at the entrance of Strait of Malacca, which is considered as a key global choke point. Any stoppage of traffic at this point can impact countries like China, as major chunk of energy & trade passes through the strait.

India-Indonesia Talk

  • During the conversation, India and Indonesia also discussed the Covid-19 crisis and situation in Myanmar & Afghanistan.
  • Indonesia, being is member of ASEAN, has been concerned about the developments in Myanmar.

Situation in Myanmar

Myanmar went through a coup in February 2020, with major political leaders being detained. There are reports on large-scale violence in the country.

Why Indonesia is concerned about Afghanistan?

Because, Indonesia has been a key stakeholder in Afghanistan, just like India.

India-Indonesia relations

The diplomatic relation was established in 1951. Both countries are neighbours, because Andaman & Nicobar Islands of India share a maritime border with Indonesia in the Andaman Sea. Relationship between Indian-Indonesian dates back to almost two millennia. India had established an embassy in Jakarta while Indonesia is having an embassy in Delhi. India considers Indonesia as a key member of ASEAN. Both the countries are among the largest democracies of world. They are member states of G-20, E7 (countries), United Nations and Non-aligned Movement.

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