Tokyo: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today wrapped up his three-day visit to Japan and left for Thailand to reinforce India's "Look East" policy, recognising Thailand as a key gateway to the ASEAN region and seeking to elevate bilateral ties into a "strategic partnership".
His visit to Thailand will be the first by an Indian prime minister after the 2004 visit by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Dr Singh, accompanied by a high-level delegation, will be in Bangkok on a day's visit.
Dr Singh ended his three-day visit in Tokyo that saw India and Japan reaffirm the importance of civil nuclear cooperation, while recognising that nuclear safety is a priority for both governments.
Ahead of Dr Singh's visit, the Thai Foreign Ministry said the bilateral meeting "reflects the desire of the two sides to elevate Thai-Indian relations to a strategic partnership, as announced in January last year."
Frequent exchanges of high-level bilateral visits reflect the closer relations between the two nations as well as the 'Look West' policy of Thailand and 'Look East' policy of India respectively, it said in a statement.
During the visit, a slew of Memorandum of Understandings covering space, extradition, Information Technology, education, financial intelligence units to check money laundering are expected to be inked.
Besides, issues like geo-politics, the trilateral highway project involving India, Thailand and Myanmar, defence, science and technology, education and culture, will be discussed by Dr Singh with his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.
National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Pulok Chatterjee, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and other senior officials are accompanying Dr Singh.