India, Thailand join hands in defence, maritime and security

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New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) India and Thailand on Friday agreed to forge closer partnership in the fields of defence and maritime cooperation, security engagement and combating terrorism as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with visiting Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha here.

In a bid to attract more tourists from Thailand, Prime Minister Modi also announced that India will facilitate double entry e-tourist visas for Thai citizens.

“I am happy to announce that to welcome more tourists from Thailand to India, and to help them enjoy their visits to Buddhist sites in India, we will soon facilitate double entry e-tourist visas for citizens of Thailand,” Modi said in his media statement after talks with his Thai counterpart.

Modi also said that completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand highway was a priority.

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“The partnership between India and Thailand will be shaped by sharing of expertise and experiences, greater staff exchanges and more exercises, cooperation on counter-piracy on seas, deeper engagement in naval patrolling, and building linkages in the field of defence R&D and production,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also stressed on the common challenge of terrorism and said that security partnership between two countries would help combat these threats.

“We are both aware that rapid spread of terrorism and radical ideology poses a common challenge to both our societies. And, we also recognize that our close security partnership would help us to secure our peoples from these threats,” said Modi.

“Beyond terrorism, we have agreed to further deepen our security engagement in the fields of cyber security, narcotics, transnational economic offenses and human trafficking,” he added.

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Speaking about stronger connectivity between two countries, Modi said: “Connectivity is also an area of priority for India’s development. Improving access to Southeast Asia from our Northeastern States benefits both our peoples.”



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