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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

India, Thailand to conduct joint naval patrols

And in another potential blow to the freedom of the seas some pirates have enjoyed India, Thailand to conduct joint naval patrols.
India and Thailand have signed an agreement for their navies to carry out joint patrolling to prevent piracy, arms smuggling and the movement of terrorists in the Andaman Sea.

An Indian Navy spokesman Wednesday described the pact as "another firm step forward" in the country's maritime engagement with Southeast Asia as part of New Delhi's "Look East Policy".

Under this policy, India has stepped up efforts to bolster the navy's blue water capability, or its ability to operate at great distances from the Indian shores, as part of a move to use naval power to make the Indian Ocean a zone of peace.

"One of the main concerns of New Delhi has been the suspected smuggling of arms across the Andaman Sea to India's northeastern states and Sri Lanka," the navy spokesman said.

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