Indonesia asks India to help maintain Malacca Strait security

March 5th, 2009 - 3:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, March 5 (Xinhua) Indonesia has asked India to take part in maintaining security in the Malacca Strait, Antara News Wire reported Thursday.
“We are discussing various possibilities to optimise security in the Malacca Strait, including inviting several countries with an interest in shipping in the strait or countries directly bordering the strait to take part in securing it,” Maj. General Supiadin Adisaputra, operations assistant to the Indonesian Armed Force Commander, said here.

The participation of India in the Malacca Strait patrols would be very positive as then all approaches to the strait will be more secure for international shipping, he said.

The strait constitutes a shipping lane between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and links three of the world’s most populous countries, namely India, Indonesia and China.

Over 50,000 ships sail through the Malacca Strait every year transporting around one fifth or a quarter of the world’s maritime trade cargoes.

Since July 2004, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have cooperated to maintain security in the Malacca Strait.

Since the joint patrols began, the crime rate in the 500-mile (800 km) long strait has decreased by about 70 percent.

“In 2008, only four criminal cases happened in the Malacca Strait. So the patrols we have been conducting with Malaysia and Singapore were very effective,” Supiadin said.

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