Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US defence secretary James Mattis to meet in Singapore today

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet her US counterpart James Mattis on Friday, on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus in Singapore to discuss the impact of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on New Delhi’s decision to acquire the Russian S-400 missile system this month. She may also discuss the fallout on India on the US sanctions on Iran that kick in on November 4.

Diplomats based in New Delhi and Singapore told Hindustan Times that while the two defence ministers will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral defence ties including the change of government in Maldives and the Indo-Pacific region, the spotlight will be on the Trump administration’s reaction to the S-400 system purchase by India, a deal closed during Russian president Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country on October 5.

The ADMM plus will be attended by 18 Defence Ministers of the region. Most will likely express their concerns over the rise of Chinese military presence in the Indo-Pacific region and its impact on sea lanes of communication. Read More

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