Army chief, Thai counterpart discuss strategic partnership

Indian army chief General Bikram Singh and visiting Thai Army Chief General Tanasak Patimapragorn Monday discussed issues of common concern as well as measures to enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries, a statement said Monday.

Patimapragorn, the chief of defence forces (CDF), Royal Thai Armed Forces, arrived in India on a four-day visit June 28 with a nine-member delegation.

The CDF is an extremely important position not only in the Thai Army but also in the overall power structure in Thailand. Important strategic facets of common concern and issues of convergence on security were discussed.

“The visit assumes special significance in the light of enhanced defence cooperation between the two countries and India’s growing relationship with Thailand,” the statement said.

“The friendship between India and Thailand is based on common ideals and principles, arising from a significant legacy of historic links, common culture, and a shared interest in peace and stability in our region,” it said.

Defence officials said the discussions covered a wide range of fields including overall security situation, regional issues and steps to further the defence engagement between the two nations.

“Defence cooperation between the two armed forces has been vibrant, encompassing training, joint exercises and visits by military delegations. The visit by the high powered delegation led by General Tanasak is bound to cement our bilateral relations as Thailand constitutes the strategic bridge between south and southeast Asia and is vital in the development of peace & prosperity in the region,” said the statement.

The defence officials added the visit will “give impetus to the multifarious increasing defence cooperation activities between the two inseparable neighbours”.