New Delhi: Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh is in Thailand’s capital Bangkok to attend the 6thASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). Today, on the sidelines of ADMM-Plus, Raksha Mantri held bilateral meetings with US Secretary of Defence Dr Mark T Esper, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand General Prawit Wongsuwan, Defence Minister of Japan Mr Taro Kono, Defence Minister of Australia Ms Linda Reynolds and Defence Minister of New Zealand Mr Ron Mark.In the deliberations, Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence relations with the respective leaders and discussed ways to further improving the ties.
It was Raksha Mantri’s first meeting with US Secretary of Defence. Both the leaders expressed satisfaction over the increasing defence engagements between the two countries and looked forward to meeting again for the 2+2 meeting in Washington DC later next month. Shri Rajnath Singh also discussed the regional security situation and shared with Dr Mark Esper India’s vision and perspective on the Indo-Pacific.
In his meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand General Prawit Wongsuwan, Raksha Mantri discussed wide-range of issues pertaining to bilateral relations between India and Thailand. Raksha Mantri complimented the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand for the successful conduct of activities during the year as the chair of ADMM-Plus and ASEAN for 2019. Shri Rajnath Singh also apprised General Prawit Wongsuwan about the Act East policy of the Government of India and the centrality of ASEAN in the Indo-Pacific policy.
Raksha Mantri’s meeting with the Defence Minister of Japan Mr Taro Konowas also his first with the leader. Both of them will meetagain in New Delhi for the 2+2 meeting scheduled later this month. Both the leaders had a detailed discussion on adding further momentum to India-Japan defence cooperation. They expressed satisfaction over the defence engagements and exercises between the Armed Forces.
Shri Rajnath Singh also met his counterparts from Australia and New Zealand and discussed ongoing defence cooperation and potential areas for enhanced engagement. The Australia Defence Minister is likely to visit New Delhi early next year during the Raisina dialogue.
The ADMM-Plus meeting will be held tomorrow in which Defence Ministers of 18 ADMM-Plus countries will take part.