Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia steps up defence ties with India as armies ink ToR

Cambodia steps up defence ties with India as armies ink ToR

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
RCAF deputy commander-in-chief Hun Manet salutes an honour guard before his meeting with Indian Army commander Manoj Pande in New Delhi on February 3. HUN MANET VIA FB

Cambodia steps up defence ties with India as armies ink ToR

Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh highlighted his government’s commitment to providing training assistance to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), in the interests of fostering stronger cooperation between the militaries of the two nations.

Singh met with Hun Manet, RCAF deputy commander-in-chief and commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, on February 3 as the latter paid a February 2-4 official visit.

Manet briefed Singh on the terms of reference (ToR) that he discussed and signed with Indian Army commander Manoj Pande, according to the RCAF’s February 4 social media post. The ToR will mark a new closeness between the two militaries and would open a path to increased practical cooperation.

“The defence minister [Singh] appreciated the ongoing efforts of both armies to maintain and enhance relations. He also confirmed India’s commitment to helping the RCAF with training,” it added.

“[Singh] described the visit by the RCAF delegation as evidence of the close friendship between the two nations. Cambodia and India are celebrating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations and are committed to bolstering bilateral relations, especially in the fields of culture, human resource development, infrastructure connectivity and defence,” it continued.

According to the Indian Army’s February 3 post, Pande extended a warm welcome to Manet, and the two discussed possible avenues for improved defence cooperation.

During the interaction, ToR for staff talks between the two armies were signed. Folders on customised training programmes for the RCAF were also exchanged.

The RCAF said Manet also met Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who underscored India’s commitment to strengthening and developing relations with Cambodia for the sake of peace, stability and development in the region.

“[Manet] appreciated the solidarity, friendship, trust and cooperation between Cambodia and India, especially during periods where Cambodia faced difficulties. Manet has also confirmed an agreed-upon direction of more multi-sectoral connectivity for the future,” it added.

Following the meeting, the Indian foreign minister took to social media announcing that the two sides had exchanged views on the geopolitical situation and regional challenges, and had agreed on the need for independent-minded nations to cooperate closely. They discussed potential cooperation on defence, security and digital connectivity.

In a February 4 press release, the Indian embassy in Phnom Penh said the visit would further strengthen the defence cooperation, as well as the bonds of friendship, between the two countries.

“The assistance by India to the capacity building of the RCAF is a key area of cooperation, and has been further strengthened and deepened with the customised courses that were announced during the visit. They are tailored to the requirements of the RCAF,” it added.

Ro Vannak, co-founder of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy, said the modernisation of the military required human resource development.

“Diversification of defence relations with the major power in South Asia – in addition to cooperation with China – contributes to the strengthening of the Kingdom’s defence capacity,” he added.

“India is a major power in the region. It is implementing its ‘Look East’ policy to bolster its standing and protect peace and prosperity in the region,” he continued.


  • Tensions high ahead of historic Kun Khmer match up

    The long-awaited November 5 matchup between Kun Khmer legend Prum Samnang and Myanmar-Canadian boxer Dave Leduc has become the most anticipated fight of the year. The Wurkz Sena Kun Khmer promotion, which will be held at the Town Arena at Chip Mong 271 Megamall, will see six

  • Manet: Cambodia safe for travel

    Prime Minister Hun Manet acknowledged that Cambodia and China have cooperated to tackle internet scamming, fraud and other cross border crimes, but insisted that the “Kingdom of Wonders” is completely peaceful and safe. He welcomed tourists to come and explore its rich heritage. During a

  • UNESCO formally list Battambang gastronomy

    Battambang, renowned for its cultural heritage, has achieved a significant milestone as the first Cambodian municipality to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The UCCN unites nearly 300 cities prioritising creativity and cultural industries in local development plans and international cooperation. On World Cities Day,

  • Cambodia pivots to solar, wind energy

    Cambodia is planning a move towards solar and wind energy to meet its rising power demands, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rottanak. On the sidelines of the Singapore International Energy Week event held recently, Rottanak emphasised the urgency of diversifying Cambodia’s

  • Angkor causeway symbol of Cambodia-Japan ties

    In a historic moment marking another milestone in the 70-year-long diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, King Norodom Sihamoni celebrated the formal inauguration of a causeway located to the west of the world-renowned Angkor Wat. While presiding over the November 4 ceremony, the King emphasised the

  • Manet calls for Cambodia’s railways to get back on track

    Prime Minister Hun Manet has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite studies into upgrades to the Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk railway line. He suggested that the maximum speed on the line should be increased to 80km/h, in order to expedite the transportation of