ADMM Plus Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh Interacts With Counter Parts
On the sidelines of ADMM-Plus Meet in Bangkok, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh 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.
Expressing happiness on the growing relationship between India and US, Raksha Mantri said, the bilateral cooperation between the two sides has grown across a wide range of sectors including defence and security, economy, energy, counter-terrorism and people-to-people ties.
Shri Rajnath Singh added that there is growing convergence between India and US in the Indo-Pacific region and India’s vision for Indo-Pacific is for a free & open, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive region supported by a rules-based order and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is central to India’s vision of Indo-Pacific.
Both countries are working together in the area of Maritime security including elements such as joint exercises, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations and Maritime Domain Awareness. The two Ministers also discussed a number of other issues concerning regional security and bilateral defence cooperation.
ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) ADMM-Plus is the only official framework of Defense Minister’s meetings in the Asia-Pacific Region. In addition to the ten countries of ASEAN, eight countries such as Japan, India, the US and China participate in this framework to promote more practical defense cooperation.
The Inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on 12 October 2010. The Defence Ministers then agreed on five areas of practical cooperation to pursue under this new mechanism, namely maritime security, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations and military medicine. Various activities as specified such as exercises are carried out under this framework and thus the forum has assumed much significance particularly given the competition in Asia Pacific and the disputes in the South China Sea.
The forum is also used for bilateral interactions by the major powers such as the one between the Defence Minister of India and the Defence Secretary of the United States.
Importantly though the Chinese Defence Minster General Wei Fenghe was also present during the ADMM Meet there was no bilateral between the two possibly due to China’s observations on Mr Rajnath Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.