PM`s Thai visit to elevate ties into `strategic partnership`
Bangkok: India`s ties with Thailand will get a further boost with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit here next week, but the long awaited FTA will not be signed during the trip aimed at elevating bilateral relations into a "strategic partnership".
"The bilateral meeting reflects the desire of the two sides to elevate Thai-Indian relations to a strategic partnership, as announced in January last year, based on shared values of democracy and respect for human rights and shared interests in promoting sustainable growth and development," the Thai Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
These frequent exchanges of high-level visits reflect the closer relations between the two nations as well as the `Look West` policy of Thailand and Look East Policy of India respectively, the statement said ahead of Singh`s two-day visit from May 30.
Earlier, Indian Ambassador to Thailand Anil Wadhwa had said that "Thailand is keenly looking forward to this visit."
Wadhwa said Singh`s visit here will be first time by an Indian premier after the 2004 visit by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"Geo-politics, the trilateral highway project involving India, Thailand and Myanmar, defence, science and technology, education and culture, are some of the issues which will be discussed by the premier and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra," the envoy told a news agency.
Yingluck has already visited India twice once as Chief guest at the Republic Day last year and later for the ASEAN India commemorative summit to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the India ASEAN dialogue last December.
Process to ease the consular access and visa procedure and tourism related to the Buddhist circuit are also expected to be covered in the bilateral talks. Thailand is a Buddhist majority country.
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