India and Thailand aim to counter anti-terror security cooperation

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Bangkok, Aug 29 (UNI) India and Thailand will promote bilateral security cooperation aiming to counter the threat from terrorism, both foreign ministers have agreed.

Thai Foreign Minister Tej Bunnag called on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi to discuss bilateral issues.

New Delhi and Bangkok also welcomed the successful conclusion of the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) yesterday, noting that this would "push the India-Thailand FTA forward", according to a Thai foreign ministry statement today.

The minister's expected bilateral trade to increase to over five billion US dollars in 2008 compared to 4.7 billions dollar last year.

Mr Bunnag is in New Delhi for the 10th ministerial meeting of the South-Southeast Asian forum BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) that groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The Thai foreign minister reiterated his government's invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a keynote speech on "Future of ASEAN" at the ASEAN-Business Investment Summit on 15 December this year in Bangkok.

The two also discussed the timing of the visit of Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to India before the Second BIMSTEC Summit scheduled for November this year in New Delhi.

UNI XC NC PM1322

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