Rajnath Singh, S Jaishankar visit: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will visit Japan this week to attend the next edition of ‘2+2’ dialogue with their Japanese counterparts, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on Tuesday.
Rajnath Singh met his Mongolian counterpart Saikhanbayar Gursed on Tuesday and discussed ways to add further momentum to defence cooperation between the two countries.
Monday-onwards Rajnath Singh is on a five-day visit to Mongolia and Japan with an aim to expand India’s strategic and defence ties with the two countries in the backdrop of evolving regional security matrix and geo-political turmoil.
The defence minister commenced his visit to Mongolia on Monday and will travel to Japan after his visit to the East Asian country.
What is 2+2 dialogue?
India has the ‘2+2’ ministerial format of dialogue with only four countries – the US, Japan, Australia and Russia.
In this type of meet, the two countries are expected to discuss ways to further broaden bilateral cooperation in defence and security besides taking stock of the developments in the Indo-Pacific region.
In the backdrop of the geo-political turmoil triggered by Russia-Ukraine conflict and escalating tensions between China and Taiwan, India has been bolstering strategic ties with its key allies.
This format of dialogue aims at exploring new initiatives to strengthen the bilateral partnership between the participating countries.
The ‘2+2’ dialogue with Japan was initiated in 2019 to deepen bilateral security and defence cooperation and convey greater depth to the special strategic and global partnership between the two countries.
India and Mongolia ties
India and Mongolia share a strategic partnership and defence is a key pillar of this partnership.
Both the countries helped one another in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and India was the first country to send Mongolia 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccine as assistance on February 21, 2021, as per MEA data.
The bilateral defence engagements with Mongolia are expanding over a period of time to include wide-ranging contacts between the two countries, including joint working party meetings, military-to-military exchanges and capacity building and training programmes.
Rajnath Singh’s visit to Mongolia from September 5 to 7 is the first-ever tour to the East Asian country by an Indian defence.
(With PTI inputs)