India, Indonesia to ink extradition treaty Tuesday


New Delhi : In a big boost to its Look East policy, India will sign a clutch of pacts with Indonesia, including a crucial extradition treaty, during the three-day visit of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to the country next week.

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Yudhoyono begins his visit to India Monday. He will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, a special gesture by India to signal its special ties with the Southeast Asian country which is also home to the world’s largest Muslim population.

“Yes, it will be signed,” Arun Kumar Goyal, joint secretary in the external affairs ministry told reporters here ahead of the visit when asked about the fate of the extradition treaty.

The extradition treaty will help expand counter-terror cooperation between the two countries.

Informed sources said pacts for combating drug trafficking and money laundering could also be signed during the visit. A number of agreements are expected to be signed, including those dealing with economic cooperation and science and technology, Vishnu Prakash, spokesperson of the external affairs ministry said.

A pact on an annual meeting of trade ministers will be among agreements that will be inked after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holds talks with the visiting Indonesian president Tuesday.

Expanding cooperation in the area of maritime security through enhanced naval patrolling will be among issues that will be discussed.

The two sides are expected to announce a target of nearly doubling their burgeoning bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2015.

They are also likely to formally begin negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) next week. Indonesia has consistently backed a bigger role for India in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the East Asia summit.