India, Thailand decide to ramp up defence cooperation

BANGKOK/NEW DELHI: India and Thailand today decided to step up defence and security cooperation, particularly in the maritime sphere, considering the evolving security situation in the critical sea lanes in the region, officials said.

The decision was taken after wide-ranging talks between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Thai counterpart General Prawit Wongsuwon in Bangkok.

In a statement, the Indian Defence Ministry in New Delhi said that both sides decided to step up military-to-military engagement by commencing bilateral naval exercises.

“The ministers welcomed the positive momentum and substantive content of ongoing bilateral defence engagement and discussed measures to further enhance and deepen defence cooperation,” it said.

Sitharaman also called on Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and discussed ways to enhance the bilateral ties.

In the talks, the two defence ministers also decided to explore strengthening current military drills between the armies and air forces of the two countries. (AGENCIES)