Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a bilateral meeting with her Thai counterpart Prawit Wongsuwan (Source: Twitter@DefenceMinIndia)

New Delhi (VNA) – Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met with her Thai counterpart, General Prawit Wongsuwon in Bangkok on August 27 as part of her ongoing two-day visit to Thailand.

According to a statement issued by the Indian Defence Ministry, both sides discussed issues related to bilateral defence cooperation.

The ministers welcomed the positive momentum and content of ongoing bilateral defence engagement and discussed measures to enhance defence cooperation, it said.

Sitharaman also called on Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and discussed ways to enhance bilateral ties.

During the meetings, the two sides agreed to step up military-to-military engagement by commencing bilateral naval exercises, while exploring the possibility of increasing the scope of joint military drill like Maitree and Siam Bharat.

They will expand cooperation in security at sea, focusing on sharing information to enhance perspectives at sea. Sitharaman proposed providing more opportunities to train the Thai Royal Army in India.

The two ministers also sought measures to strengthen cooperation in industry, research and defence development, while defining specific areas for affiliation to be further discussed through institutional dialogue mechanisms.

Both sides noted the complementary nature of their approaches to the Indo-Pacific region and decided to hold regular consultations on issues of mutual interest, said the statement.

The statement said the Thai defence minister welcomed India's initiative to host the inaugural BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Army exercise and conclave of chiefs in India in September and confirmed Thailand's participation.

The BIMSTEC is a regional grouping comprising Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.-VNA