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Sitharaman meets her counterparts in Philippines

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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the 4th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus), in Philippines on October 24, 2017. A PIB photo

MANILA (PTI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday held talks with her counterparts from Vietnam, Russia, Australia, Singapore and Myanmar on the sidelines of the 4th ASEAN Defence Ministers' meeting held in the Philippines.

Sitharaman, who is on her first foreign visit since taking over as India's first woman defence minister last month, met Vietnam's defence minister Gen Ngo Xuan Lich, her Myanmar counterpart Lt General Sein Win and Australia's defence minister Marise Payne.

"A real pleasure meeting India's Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today. Great discussion & looking forward to working together #ASEAN2017," Payne tweeted after her meeting with Sitharaman.

The Minister also held talks with Russia's defence minister General Sergei Shoygu. Russia is one of the key defence partners of India.

Sitharaman also met Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and held talks to deepen bilateral ties in the defence sector.

"#Firstmeeting with Indian DM @nsitharaman over #breakfast at Clark. It was a #meetingofminds & #commitment to deepen #bilateral #defenceties," Ng tweeted.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis also attended the two-day event held in Clark, a northern Philippine city, during which North Korea's nuclear ambitions were one of the top agendas.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a grouping of ten Southeast Asian states of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. ADMM-Plus includes ASEAN's eight security partners - Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the US.

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