In a major initiative, India today discussed with Thailand the possibility of a multi-lateral venture on maritime security and establishment of maritime trade routes, also involving countries like Japan and Myanmar.
During discussions between Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha here, the two sides also decided to collaborate in jointly developing and manufacturing defence equipment as also investing in infrastructure development programmes.
Other issues discussed at the high-level meeting included strengthening ongoing cooperation in counter-terrorism and security, joint military exercises and pharmaceuticals.
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The two sides also discussed a proposal to establish a working level group to complete the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway which is expected to fructify in about two years.
Issues related to extradition of gangsters and exchanging information on how to apprehend wanted terrorists if they happen to be in ASEAN countries were also discussed.
Sources said that while many issues of mutual importance were on the table, the focus remained on defence and counter-terrorism and investment. Briefing the media after the meeting, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (East) Anil Wadhwa said Thailand’s plans on East-West and North-South corridors jelled well with India’s connectivity programme. The Dawei connectivity project and how India
fits into it were also discussed, he said.
Ansari, the first Indian Vice-President to visit Thailand in 50 years, arrived here Wednesday from Brunei to a ceremonial welcome, including a 19-gun salute. He extended an invitation to the Crown Prince to visit India in the near future.
India will also play host to Thai Prime Minister as also Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, a well-known Sanskrit scholar, who will be conferred the World Sanskrit Award later this year.