PM Modi’s Lightning Visit to Indonesia

In one of his shortest-ever foreign trips, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is embarking on a whirlwind visit to Jakarta, Indonesia. His trip will last less than 23 hours, allowing him to return home in time for three major bilateral meetings on September 8, including one with US President Joe Biden. This article delves into the details of this high-stakes visit and its significance for India’s foreign policy.

The Itinerary

Out of the 23 hours allocated for the trip, nearly 14 hours will be spent in transit to Jakarta and back. The prime minister departed for Jakarta on Wednesday night and is scheduled to arrive in Jakarta at 3 am IST on September 7 (Thursday). After a brief rest, he will head to the venue of the ASEAN-India Summit at 7 am IST. Following this, he will participate in the East Asia Summit at 8.45 am IST. Immediately after the East Asia Summit, Prime Minister Modi will head to the airport and return to India at 11.45 am IST. He is expected to land in Delhi around 6.45 pm IST, which means his actual stay in Jakarta will be less than nine hours.

Back-to-Back Meetings

Interestingly, President Biden is also arriving in India around 7 pm on September 8. On the same day, Prime Minister Modi will hold crucial bilateral meetings with three countries, including one with the American president around 7.45 pm. Another significant meeting is scheduled with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. These back-to-back meetings underscore the importance of this short but eventful trip.

G20 Leaders Summit

Adding to the diplomatic flurry, the all-important G20 Leaders Summit is set to begin on September 9 and conclude on September 10. This summit is a critical platform for global leaders to discuss pressing issues and collaborate on solutions. Prime Minister Modi’s participation in this summit immediately following his Indonesia visit reflects India’s commitment to international cooperation and diplomacy.

Prior Preparations

Before departing for Indonesia, Prime Minister Modi held meetings with his council of ministers and convened a cabinet meeting. He also engaged in a series of back-to-back meetings that stretched until 7.30 pm. These preparations underscore the significance of his visit and the depth of discussions expected during the bilateral meetings and summits.

Strengthening ASEAN-India Ties

In a departure statement ahead of his visit to Indonesia, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the ASEAN. He highlighted how this partnership has injected new dynamism into the ties between India and ASEAN member countries. The Prime Minister expressed his eagerness to discuss the future of India’s partnership with ASEAN member countries during his meetings with their leaders.

“I look forward to discussing with ASEAN leaders the future contours of our partnership, which has now entered its fourth decade. Engagement with ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East’ policy. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership entered into last year has injected new dynamism in our ties,”

– Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Promoting Regional Cooperation

Regarding the 18th East Asia Summit, Prime Minister Modi noted its significance as a forum to deliberate on various issues crucial to the region. These issues include food and energy security, environmental concerns, healthcare, and digital transformation. He expressed his anticipation of engaging with other East Asia Summit leaders to explore practical cooperation measures for collectively addressing these global challenges.

“This forum provides a useful opportunity to deliberate on issues of importance to the region including food and energy security, environment, health, and digital transformation. I look forward to exchanging views with other EAS Leaders on practical cooperation measures to collectively address these global challenges,”

– Prime Minister Narendra Modi

A Warm Recollection

The Prime Minister warmly recalled his visit to Indonesia for the G20 Summit in Bali the previous year. He expressed confidence that this visit would further deepen India’s engagement with the ASEAN region, emphasizing the importance of this Southeast Asian nation in India’s foreign policy strategy.

This whirlwind visit to Indonesia showcases India’s commitment to fostering strong relationships with its regional and global partners. It also highlights the country’s role in addressing critical global issues through platforms like the ASEAN-India Summit, the East Asia Summit, and the G20 Leaders Summit. As Prime Minister Modi embarks on this brief yet significant journey, the world will be watching closely to see the outcomes and the impact on India’s foreign relations.

(With PTI inputs)

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