Navy Chief on goodwill visit to Thailand

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Bangkok, May 26 (UNI) Navy Chief and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, will start a three-day visit to Thailand tomorrow to further growing bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.

The visit will continue a series of high-level exchanges between the two countries and greater defence collaboration at operational level.

Their shared geo-strategic location near the Malacca Straits, vital for global shipping, has made India and Thailand natural defence partners, according to an Indian Embassy statement on the visit.

''India has considered Thailand a strategically important country for strengthening defence relations,'' said the statement.

''Initiatives during the last few years have resulted in combined exercises between the Navies and Armies of the two countries and frequent exchange visits at the working level,'' it added.

The Indian Navy Chief will be hosted by the Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, General Boonsrang Niumpradit.

Admiral Mehta will visit Thailand's Sattahip naval base and also call on Thai Army Chief General Anupong Paojinda.

UNI XC SKB AS1831

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