In­dia of­fers Thai­land col­lab­o­ra­tion in de­fence pro­duc­tion

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

The De­fence Min­is­ter, A.K. Antony re­cently 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, Antony said 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. Antony said con­scious plan­ning, hard work by our sci­en­tists and sup­port by the govern­ment is re­sult­ing in the growth of a strong de­fence in­dus­trial base in the coun­try.

The talks be­tween the two min­is­ters cov­ered a wide range of is­sues in­clud­ing re­gional se­cu­rity con­cerns. 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 trade is de­pen­dent on the sea lanes. Hence, se­cu­rity of the sea lanes and freedom of nav­i­ga­tion is crit­i­cal to eco­nomic and over­all se­cu­rity. In­dia sup­ports the freedom of nav­i­ga­tion in ac­cor­dance with the prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional law.

Antony said In­dia’s view is that peace and sta­bil­ity is in the in­ter­est of all coun­tries in the re­gion. “We sup­port the res­o­lu­tion of dif­fer­ences and dis­putes through the process of dia­logue and con­sen­sus be­tween the par­ties to such dis­putes. All coun­tries must ex­er­cise re­straint and re­solve is­sues diplo­mat­i­cally, ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional law”.

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.”

SP

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