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Manmohan Singh holds talks with Indonesian President in Bali

Bali (Indonesia), Nov.19 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh held delegation-level talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali on Saturday.

Both sides agreed that there was need to strengthen security, trade and diplomatic ties.

Both India and Indonesia share a long cultural inheritance and have faced attacks by Islamic militants and, like Jakarta, New Delhi has been successfully pushing for closer strategic ties with the United States.

Indonesia is India's second biggest trade partner among the ASEAN countries and the two countries share healthy investments and trade figures, with bilateral trade reaching 13 billion dollars in 2010. Both have plans of increasing trade to 25 billion dollars in the next five years.

India and Indonesia border the Malacca Straits, one of the world's busiest shipping routes, and their navies patrol the pirate-infested area.

According to analysts, Dr. Singh, who is on a four-day visit to Bali and Singapore, is using his visit to boost India's influence in Southeast Asia.

ASEAN chairmanship rotates annually in alphabetical order among its 10 countries. It brings together leaders from Asian countries as well as the U.S., China, India and Russia.

This year, Cambodia has assumed the chairmanship of the regional grouping.

ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (ANI)

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I am the Editor News, at Asian News International (ANI), Indiaís leading Multimedia News Agency and the India Correspondent for Channel News Asia, a Singapore based broadcaster.
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