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Indian Navy Chief begins Thailand visit

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will begin a four-day visit to Thailand from Wednesday with an aim to further consolidate maritime cooperation between the two countries.

Admiral Lanba will hold extensive talks with Thailand's Chief of Defence Forces General Ponpipaat Benyasri and Admiral Luechai Ruddit, Commander-in-Chief of Royal Thai Navy, besides meeting other senior government officials, the Navy said.

"The visit is intended to consolidate and enhance the maritime bilateral relations between India and Thailand and also to explore new avenues of defence cooperation," it said in a statement.

Admiral Lanba will also visit the headquarters of Royal Thai Armed Forces in Bangkok and the third Naval Area Command at Phuket.

Cooperation between Indian and Thai navies are on an upswing in the last few years on a number of fronts, including operational interactions and training.

The Royal Thai Navy is also a member of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a platform of littoral states of the Indian Ocean region for enhancing maritime security cooperation.

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