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Rajnath Singh Meets Australian, US Counterparts, Discusses Boosting Defence Ties

Following his arrival in the city of Siem Reap, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles.

Rajnath Singh

Image: Twitter/@rajnathsingh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh landed in Siem Reap, Cambodia on November 21 to co-chair the maiden India-ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting. He is attending the 9th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) along with his counterparts from participating countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, the United States, and New Zealand.

Following his arrival in the city of Siem Reap, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed strengthening cooperation and boosting defence ties between India and Australia. Taking to his official Twitter handle following the meeting, Rajnath Singh wrote, "Insightful deliberations with Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense, Mr Richard Marles on boosting defence ties and deepening cooperation between India & Australia in Siem Reap, Cambodia today."

Meanwhile, the Australian Deputy PM and Defense Minister Richard Marles revealed via a tweet that the two leaders discussed shared ambitions for future cooperation between Australia and India and reviewed the growth of the defence partnership between the two in 2022. He further stated that the two nations shared “an interest in an open, prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific."  

India advances defence cooperation amid regional threats

During his visit to Cambodia, Rajnath Singh also held a meeting with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin. Following the meeting, the Indian Defense Minister tweeted, "Delighted to meet the US Secretary of Defence, Mr Lloyd J. Austin in Siem Reap." Notably, the meeting comes amid the long-standing border stand-off with China in India’s Eastern Ladakh region near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The border contention between the nations flared up in May 2020 following the deadly Galwan Valley clash between the troops from the Indian Army’s Bihar Regiment and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Meanwhile, Singh also met New Zealand Defence Minister Peeni Henare and stated following the meeting, “Had a wonderful interaction with the Defence Minister of New Zealand, Mr Peeni Henare.”   

India-Cambodia celebrate 30 years of diplomatic ties

India and Cambodia are celebrating 30 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier held a bilateral meeting with Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence General TEA Banh, following his arrival in Siem Reap on November 21.

During the meeting, the two leaders noted the shared rich cultural and historic linkages between India and Cambodia. Furthermore, both the leaders recognized Angkor Wat, an ancient temple in Cambodia, as the symbol of the "long-lasting ties" between the two countries, India’s Ministry of Defence said in a press release.

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