Bangkok: Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday (November 17) held a bilateral meeting with the US secretary of defence, Mark Esper, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus).

The minister, along with an official delegation, arrived in Bangkok on Friday (November 15) and was received by air chief marshal Chewchan Ruddit, special advisor to the office of the permanent secretary for Defence, MoD Thailand.

Speaking to the media ahead of the meeting, Singh said, "The defence cooperation between ASEAN and India has its own importance. I want to appreciate Thailand for hosting and chairing this summit. I am sure that we will be having a very fruitful discussion and it will be beneficial for all the ASEAN member countries."

He stated that sustainable security would be a primary focus of discussion today.

"Security can only be successful if it is sustainable," the minister stressed.

"The summit will also help in building strategic trust between the leaders of the Asia Pacific through proper communication. Also, cooperation between the militaries of the ASEAN member countries will be strengthened," he noted.

In addition, terrorism, disaster management and coastal security will also be on the cards at the meeting, said Singh, adding that the ASEAN cooperation forms a central point in India's Act East policy.

The minister said that he would be holding several bilateral meetings with participating defence ministers on November 17.

Singh would also inaugurate the India pavilion at the Defence and Security Exhibition in Bangkok. He will address the business seminar and interact with the industry representatives.

As part of the agenda for the ADMM Plus meeting, Singh will also release the Handbook on Military Medicine for ASEAN along with the defence minister of Myanmar.

A courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha will also take place during the visit.