India seeks to elevate bilateral ties with Thailand into a "strategic partnership".

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday left for Thailand after wrapping up his Japan visit, during which the two sides decided to accelerate talks on a civil nuclear deal and bolster maritime security cooperation.

Dr. Singh ended his three-day visit here that saw India and Japan reaffirm the importance of civil nuclear cooperation, while recognising that nuclear safety is a priority for both governments.

Dr. Singh, accompanied by a high-level delegation, left for Bangkok on a day’s visit 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".

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 MoUs covering space, extradition, IT, 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. Singhwith his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra.

His visit to Thailand will be the first by an Indian premier after the 2004 visit by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Pulok Chatterjee, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and other senior officials are accompanying Dr. Singh.