Defence Minister Shri AK Antony offered to discuss with Thailand possible areas of cooperation and collaboration in Defence production during talks with his Thai counterpart Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat in Bangkok, recently. Informing that India has, over the years, developed a well established defence industry which can meet varying requirements of the Thai Armed Forces, he said India would welcome the visit of Thai teams to various Defence production facilities. The talks between the two ministers covered a wide range of issues including regional security concerns. Mr. Antony said both countries have large stakes in the maintenance of peace and stability in our immediate neighbourhood and in the wider Asia Pacific region. He said that our trade is dependent on the sea lanes. Hence, security of the sea lanes and freedom of navigation is critical to our economic and overall security. India supports the freedom of navigation in accordance with the principles of international law.
Mr. Antony said New Delhi has been of the consistent view that ASEAN is central to any security architecture for the region. “India is committed to efforts of ADMM Plus, ARF and the East Asia Summit for promoting dialogue and consensus building among all countries of the region”, he said. Earlier on his arrival at the Thai Ministry of Defence, Mr. Antony was accorded an Inter-Services Guard of Honour. The Thai Defence Minister also hosted a lunch in honour of Mr. Antony and his delegation.