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Thailand and India held foreign min

Thailand and India held foreign ministers' talk in Delhi

New Delhi: July 11, 2000

The visiting foreign minister of Thailand, Mr. Surin Pitsuwan, met his
Indian counterpart Mr. Jaswant Singh in New Delhi on Monday and held a
dialogue on bilateral and regional issues. The following is the summary
of press briefing by the official spokesperson of foreign office in

- The meeting took place on the eve of the forthcoming ASEAN Post
Ministerial Conference (ASEAN PMC) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) which
are being held in Thailand from 28-29 July 2000. Mr. Jaswant Singh will
lead the Indian delegation for these meetings.
- It may be recalled that in the margins of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
Foreign Ministers Conference in Cartagena earlier this year, the two
Ministers had an opportunity to meet. The Foreign Minister of Thailand
met Mr. Jaswant Singh both in the capacity of the Foreign Minister as
well as the Chairman of ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference (ASEAN PMC)
and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
- Several issues were discussed between the two leaders. These are:

1. The two leaders discussed the proposal to set a long term prospective
to relations between India and Thailand. It was proposed by Thailand
that relations between the two country should have a long term
perspective and periodic meetings should be held at certain intervals to
monitor such programme as well as for making mid-course corrections as
and when necessary. This issue would be further fleshed out in the
course of discussions between the two sides.
2. Greater co-operation between India and countries of the Mekong Basin
including Thailand, Kampuchea and Laos, not only in the context of
regional projects or common cultural heritage but also in terms of
trade, environment and infrastructure development etc.
3. The two Ministers also discussed an issue addressed in some measures
in BIMSTEC meetings held in New Delhi recently i.e. Trans-Asian Highway
Project (Trans-Asian Highway Project comes under the coordinating
umbrella of ESCAP (Economic and Social Council for Asia and the
Pacific), a UN body.   The responsibility of infrastructure development
lies with the individual countries in respect of segments with which
they should be connected. India is a leading country in respect of
transport under the rubric of BIMST-EC.
4. The issues of India and Thailand and other ASEAN countries in the
sphere of information technology were also discussed. India makes
available 100 slots to ASEAN countries in addition to the slots normally
offered under ITEC Programme.
5. Discussions were also held on the possibilities of joint ventures in
the area of fisheries.
6. Discussions were also held on UN reforms in the manner in which India
would like to see the reforms of different UN bodies to bring about
greater relevance to the contemporary world.
7. Indian foreign minister Mr. Jaswant Singh also highlighted common
security and other concerns between India and ASEAN countries. He spoke
about common concerns and the need for constant engagement with ASEAN
countries on issues of security. India has geographical proximity with
various ASEAN countries e.g. India has a maritime boundary with
Indonesia and a similar proximity with Thailand.
8. Further discussions were held on the draft extradition treaty, which
has been under consideration for some time now.
9. The discussions on India's relations with individual ASEAN countries
and developments in the region including Sri Lanka were also held.

In response questions, the spokesperson said the following:

- The deft extradition treaty between India and Thailand is expected to
be placed before the Thai Cabinet in the near future.
- The Trans-Asian Highway Project has been under discussion for almost
two decades now. The alignment of the highway is not yet finalized.
- India has bilateral co-operation with a number of countries for
peaceful uses of Nuclear energy.
- Two agreements were signed between the Indian foreign minister Mr.
Jaswant Singh and the Thailand Foreign Minister. These are (i) Bilateral
Investment, Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) (ii) Bilateral
Agreement on Co-operation for Utilization of Atomic Energy for Peaceful
- ESCAP is not a funding body for the Trans-Asian Highway project. It is
a co-ordinating body.
- Commenting on a press report, which appeared in Telegraph, the
spokesperson said that no committee has been formed with a mandate to
cut or redistribute posts in Indian diplomatic and consular missions
abroad. However, the rationalization of Indian diplomatic presence in
foreign countries is an ongoing process.