India, Thailand to hold talksDecember 23rd, 2011 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 23 (IANS) The foreign ministers of India and Thailand will hold talks here Tuesday that will focus on expanding economic ties and set the stage for the forthcoming visit of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra next year.
Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul touches down here Monday on a three-day visit, his first trip to this country since assuming office in July.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Thai counterpart will co-chair a meeting of the joint commission Tuesday. The two ministers will hold talks on a wide array of issues ranging from the intensification of economic ties to issues relating to defence and counter-terrorism.
The two ministers are expected to give a push to negotiations for a comprehensive free trade area agreement that has a potential to multiply their bilateral trade, which is expected to touch $10 billion next year.
The two sides will also discuss issues relating to proposed agreements like an extradition treaty, mutual legal assistance treaty in civil and commercial matters, and an agreement on transfer of sentenced persons.
The Thai minister will also call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Vice-President Hamid Ansari, the external affairs ministry said here Friday while announcing the upcoming visit.
The talks will set the stage for the visit of the Thai prime minister next month. In a gesture that underscores warming ties, Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female and youngest prime minister, will be coming here as the guest of honour at the Republic Day function Jan 26.
The last decade has seen an all-round acceleration in multi-faceted bilateral ties, with six prime ministerial visits from Thailand to India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the Thai resort of Hua Hin in 2009 to participate in the India-ASEAN summit and the East Asia Summit.
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