Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff is on a bilateral visit to Thailand from 17 to 19 April 2019. 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.
During his visit, Admiral Sunil Lanba will hold bilateral discussions with General Ponpipaat Benyasri, Chief of Defence Forces, Royal Thai Armed Forces, Admiral Luechai Ruddit, Commander-in-Chief Royal Thai Navy and other senior government officials.
In addition to holding important bilateral discussions, the Admiral will visit the Royal Thai Navy and Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters in Bangkok and the 3rd Naval Area Command at Phuket.
India has historical linkages with Thailand which date back several centuries. The two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1947. The Defence relationship between India and Thailand has matured over the years, with the two countries signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation in January 2012. The Defence Cooperation between the two countries is being progressed through the Annual High Level Defence Dialogue, the 7th edition of which was held in March 2019 at New Delhi.
The Indian Navy cooperates with the Royal Thai Navy on many fronts, which include operational interactions, training exchanges and hydrographic cooperation. These activities are coordinated between the navies through the medium of Navy-to-Navy Staff Talks, the 11th edition of which were held at Bangkok in March 2019.
The Royal Thai Navy is also a member of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and actively participates in the three IONS Working Groups, viz 'Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief' (HADR), 'Maritime Security' and 'Information Sharing and Interoperability'.