Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has met his Cambodian counterpart, General Samdech Pichey Sena TEA Banh, in Siem Reap and said there is ”immense scope” to boost defence cooperation between the two countries.
Singh is currently visiting Cambodia to attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus and the maiden India-ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting.
He arrived at Siem Reap on Monday to co-chair the India-ASEAN Defence Ministers meeting and attend the 9th ADMM Plus, the defence ministry said in a statement.
”Reviewed the full range of India-Cambodia defence ties during the fruitful meeting with Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, General Samdech Pichey Sena TEA Banh in Siem Reap today. There is immense scope to boost defence cooperation between both the countries,” Singh said in a tweet on Monday.
On Tuesday, he shared pictures of his meetings with other leaders on Twitter.
”Insightful deliberations with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Mr. @RichardMarlesMP on boosting defence ties and deepening cooperation between India and Australia in Siem Reap, Cambodia today,” Singh said in a tweet.
”Delighted to meet the US Secretary of Defence, Mr Lloyd J. Austin in Siem Reap. @SecDef,” he wrote on the microblogging site.
In another tweet, Singh said: ”Had a wonderful interaction with the Defence Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Peeni Henare.” To commemorate 30 years of the India-ASEAN ties, India and Cambodia will co-chair the India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting on Tuesday, which will be presided by Singh. Various initiatives to boost the India-ASEAN partnership are likely to be announced at the meeting.
”Upon his arrival, Singh held a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of Cambodia General TEA Banh. Both ministers met warmly and noted the shared rich cultural and historic linkages between India and Cambodia,” the defence ministry said in a statement on Monday.
During the meeting, both leaders recognised Angkor Wat, an ancient temple complex in Cambodia, as the ”symbol of the long-lasting ties between the two countries”. It is of significance that India and Cambodia are also celebrating 70 years of their diplomatic relations this year, it added.
Singh congratulated Cambodia on the successful chairmanship of ASEAN and ADMM Plus in 2022. He and Gen. TEA Banh reviewed the entire gamut of defence cooperation and discussed mutually beneficial avenues for furthering the bilateral ties, the statement said.
As the chair of the ADMM Plus meeting, Cambodia will host the 9th annual meeting on Wednesday and Singh will address the forum. He will also call on the prime minister of Cambodia during the visit, the statement said.