Bangkok, Nov 17: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday discussed expanding defence cooperation with the US during a meeting with Defence Secretary Mark T Esper.
Singh, who is here to attend the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus meeting, said he had an "excellent" meeting with Esper and conveyed that there is growing convergence between India and the US in the Indo-Pacific region. India’s Indo-Pacific vision is for a free and open, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive region supported by rules based order and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. And ASEAN is central to this vision of Indo-Pacific. Both countries are working together in the area of maritime security.
On Monday, the Asean defence ministers will meet with their counterparts from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.
The ADMM and ADMM Plus Ministerial meetings are important for the regional security architecture as they help in promoting strategic dialogue between ASEAN and its partners. Singh also had an interaction with Japan’s Minister of Defence, Taro Kono. "We had a detailed discussion on adding further momentum to India-Japan defence cooperation."
Ten defence ministers from Southeast Asian Nations on Sunday held an informal meeting in Bangkok with regional issues, including the South China Sea and Rohingya crisis on their agenda. The retreat was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who in charge of security affairs.
Singh had a meeting with the General Prawit Wongsuwan on the sidelines of ADMM-Plus. He also met Defence Minister of Australia Linda Reynolds and Defence Minister of New Zealand Ron Mark. (UNI)