EAM Sushma Swaraj arrives in Thailand

Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi, Jan 4: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reached here on Thursday on the first leg of a three-nation tour that will also take her to Indonesia and Singapore.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that the Minister received a “warm welcome” in Thailand — “our geographic, historic and cultural neighbour”.

During her two-day visit to Thailand, Sushma Swaraj will hold a meeting with Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai.

The External Affairs Ministry statement issued last week said, “All aspects of bilateral relations with Thailand will be discussed with particular focus on political, defence and economic ties and on further enhancing India’s engagement with Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries,” the statement asserted, adding that Thailand would assume the role of coordinator country for India-Asean relations in the middle of 2018.

During her Indonesia visit from January 5-6, Sushma Swaraj will co-chair the fifth meeting of the India-Indonesia Joint Commission with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi.

Both the leaders will also inaugurate the second meeting of the Asean-India Network of Think Tanks. She will also call on Indonesian President Joko Widodo and have other official engagements, including an interaction with representatives of the Indian community.

Swaraj will call on the new Secretary General of Asean Lim Jock Hoi, the statement stated adding: “As the biggest country in the Asean region with the largest economy, Indonesia is an important partner for India including in trade and strategic matters. In recent times, there has been intensive engagement between the two countries bilaterally, as well as plurilaterally.”

The statement said Joint Commission meeting and other engagements of Sushma Swaraj would enable the two countries to note the course of partnership during the year 2018.

Swaraj will visit Singapore from January 6-8 during which she will launch the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) of Asean countries on January 7. The theme of this year’s event is “Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic Asean-India Partnership”.

Sushma Swaraj will hold bilateral meetings with the leaders in Singapore and also interact with PIO delegations from Asean countries.

According to the statement, the Regional PBD is a large scale event covering a wide range of sectors including political relations, economic ties and investment, tourism and culture, connectivity, start-ups and science and technology.

“PIO delegations from all Asean countries, including ministers, eminent personalities, business and socio-political leaders are participating in the event,” the statement asserted.

On 3 nation visit, Sushma Swaraj will share with her interlocutors relevant information about the upcoming Asean-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on January 25 which marks 25 years of the establishment of Dialogue Partnership between India and the 10-nation regional bloc.


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