Siem Reap: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today met counterparts from Australia and the United States in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Singh held a meeting with Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles in Cambodia.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed boosting defence ties and strengthening cooperation between India and Australia. Notably, Rajnath Singh arrived in Siem Reap on November 21 to co-chair the India-ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting and attend the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus).

Taking to his official Twitter handle, Rajnath Singh said, "Insightful deliberations with Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Mr. @RichardMarlesMP on boosting defence ties and deepening cooperation between India & Australia in Siem Reap, Cambodia today."

Sharing details regarding his meeting with Rajnath Singh, Richard Marles in a tweet said that they discussed shared ambitions for future cooperation between the two nations and reviewed the growth of the defence partnership in 2022.

Richard Marles tweeted, "Great to see @rajnathsingh today to reflect on the significant growth of our defence partnership in 2022 and discuss our shared ambitions for future cooperation. Australia and India are great friends and we share an interest in an open, prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific."

During his visit to Cambodia, Rajnath Singh held a meeting with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin. Singh tweeted, "Delighted to meet the US Secretary of Defence, Mr Lloyd J. Austin in Siem Reap." He also met New Zealand Defence Minister Peeni Henare in Cambodia.

Rajnath Singh tweeted, "Had a wonderful interaction with the Defence Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Peeni Henare." Earlier on November 21, Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of Cambodia General TEA Banh.

During the meeting, Rajnath Singh and TEA Benh noted the shared rich cultural and historic linkages between India and Cambodia. The two leaders recognised Angkor Wat, an ancient temple complex in Cambodia, as the symbol of the "long-lasting ties" between the two nations, the Ministry of Defence said in the press release.

This year, India and Cambodia are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties. In the meeting, Rajnath Singh congratulated Cambodia on the chairmanship of ASEAN and ADMM Plus in 2022. The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of defence cooperation and discussed mutually beneficial avenues for furthering the bilateral relations between both nations.

Notably, India and Cambodia will co-chair the maiden India-ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting on November 22 to commemorate the 30 years of diplomatic ties between India and Cambodia. The India-ASEAN meeting will be presided over by Rajnath Singh. He will also participate in the ADMM Plus meeting on November 23.

"Various initiatives to boost India-ASEAN partnership are planned to be announced during the meeting. On November 23, 2022, Cambodia, as the chair of the ADMM Plus meeting, will host the 9th annual meeting and the Raksha Mantri will address the forum. He will also call on the Prime Minister of Cambodia during the visit," the Ministry of Defence said in the press release.