New Delhi, June 6: Defence cooperation between India and Thailand is set to get a boost with their armies all set to engage in a two-week annual war game to enhance battle efficiency of the two Asian states. The joint exercise, called Exercise Maitree, between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army is scheduled to take place in Mueang of Chachoengsao province in Thailand. It comes as the Modi government has underlined India’s “Act East” policy. “In the series of joint bilateral exercises between India and Thailand, both nations have once again come together to foster the spirit of friendship and enhance the strategic military relationship to the next level,” a Defence Ministry spokesperson said.
The 14-day exercise is aimed at building and promoting closer relations between the two militaries and enhance their ability to undertake joint tactical level operations on handling insurgency and related issues in urban and rural scenario. The spokesperson said representatives from the two armies carried out an exercise to plan for the upcoming joint war drill. A joint protocol highlighting various aspects of conduct was signed in Chachoengsao. The previous editions of the Maitree series of bilateral exercises have been one of the major defence cooperation initiatives between India and Thailand. It is an annual reciprocal training event. Last year, it was held at Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh in 2017. Thailand and India have been cooperating in various multilateral fora like ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), East Asia Summit and BIMSTEC. In addition, India is a member of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) initiated by Thailand in 2002 and of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC). (IANS)