Defence minister Rajnath Singh (PTI photo)
NEW DELHI: Amid anger in Beijing over Indian Army occupying strategic heights in the Ladakh region, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday refrained from committing himself to a meeting sought by his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the meeting of defence ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Moscow.
Sources here said Singh cited his “tight schedule” to avoid spelling out whether he would be able to meet the Chinese defence minister.
The Chinese overture for a dialogue comes amid indications that the Army took pre-emptive manoeuvres to take control of strategic heights in the Pangong Tso-Chushul area. Interestingly, while no meeting with the Chinese defence minister was scheduled, the Indian side had expected the Chinese to seek one in the aftermath of the Armys audacious operation on the night of August 29.
Singh had a very successful round of talks with Russian defence minister General Sergey Shoigu. Sources here said the meeting, marked by “great personal chemistry” between the two, saw Shoigu reiterating Russias policy of not supplying arms to Pakistan in response to a request from India. Shoigu assured Singh that Russia stood by Indias “security interests”, and extended support to the Make in India campaign.
Singh thanked Russia for being a reliable source of weapons at crucial times. “Singh conveyed appreciation for steadfast support provided by Russia, consistent with the defence and security needs of India, and in this context, particularly noted the timely manner in which Russia had responded to requests Read More – Source