Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: India’s ‘Act East Policy’ got a further boost when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held extensive discussions with his Malaysian counterpart Mohamad Hasan in Kuala Lumpur on July 10. They discussed the roadmap for the 4th Decade of India-Malaysia Defence Cooperation.
Mr. Singh reached Kuala Lumpur on a three-day visit to Malaysia with a focus on further consolidating bilateral defence cooperation and Enhanced Strategic Partnership. He also called on Prime Minister Anwar bin Ibrahim, besides meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Zambry Abd Kadir.
After touching down in Kuala Lumpur late on July 9, Singh began his official engagements with a ceremonial Guard of Honour at Ministry of Defence. It was followed by bilateral talks with his Malaysian counterpart. Both sides discussed initiatives to further expand bilateral defence ties, with particular focus on identifying ways to strengthen industrial cooperation.
The two Ministers agreed to the next Malaysia-India Defence Cooperation Committee (MIDCOM) meeting which is being planned in India later this year. Singh highlighted the potential of the Indian defence industry with capacity and capability to cooperate with Malaysian Armed Forces in its inventory modernisation and maintenance plans.
They also approved amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation between India and Malaysia signed in 1993, through ‘Exchange of Letters’ (EoL). This amendment will act as an enabler to expand bilateral defence cooperation in the areas of mutual interest.
Later, Singh called on the Prime Minister Ibrahim and conveyed warm greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Recalling his successful visit to India in 2019, the Malaysian Prime Minister reciprocated the greetings by highlighting that he has great love for people of India and that Prime Minister Modi is his personal friend. Singh briefed the Malaysian PM about the fruitful and productive defence dialogue held earlier in the day.
Singh also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kadir, during which they exchanged views on matters of bilateral importance and cooperation in international fora. India’s recognition of ASEAN centrality and importance of peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo Pacific region were discussed.
This is the first bilateral visit after the establishment of Enhanced Strategic Partnership, which was announced during the visit of PM Modi to Malaysia in 2015. Singh also unveiled a bust of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.