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Ansari returns home after concluding 2-nation tour


New Delhi: Vice President Hamid Ansari today returned here after wrapping up a five-day tour of Brunei and Thailand during which he held talks with the top leadership of the two countries on the entire gamut of issues including connectivity, maritime security and terrorism.

Ansari said the visits happened after a long gap and in “both the places, discussions were positive and the signal given was that they are keen to further strengthen relationships with India”.

“The chemistry was right and the responses very positive,” he added.

Before leaving for home from Bangkok, Ansari called on Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at the Sra Pathum Palace this morning and inspected the Chitralada Project inside it.

He was seen off at the airport by Minister of Information and Communication Uttama Savanayana. Ansari was the first Vice President to visit Thailand in 50 years, the last being Zakir Hussain in 1966.

During his three-day stay in Thailand, he held talks with Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, delivered a speech at the Chulalongkorn University, addressed the Indian community, met Indologists and visited the famous temples of Reclining Buddha and Emerald Buddha.

In Brunei, on the first leg of his visit, Ansari held talks with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, crown prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah and Speaker of the State Legislative Council Haji Mohammad Taib.

India and Brunei also signed three MoUs on health, defence cooperation and youth affairs and sports.

Ansari delivered a speech at the University of Brunei Darussalam besides addressing the Indian community at Bandar Seri Begawan.

The Vice President was accompanied by his wife Salma, Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, MPs Rajeev Shukla, Anu Aga, Bhupendra Yadav and Prem Das Rai among others.

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