Lt General Hun Manet, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and Commander of Royal Cambodian Army along with a delegation is visiting India from February 2 to 4, 2023. This is the maiden visit by any Commander of Royal Cambodian Army and is a milestone in Army to Army relations between both countries.
On February 3, 2023, the General Officer commenced the visit by paying tributes to the fallen heroes of the Indian Armed Forces by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial. He called on Giridhar Aramane, Defence Secretary and was briefed on Indian indigenous defence equipment manufacturing eco-system by the Department of Defence Production (DDP) and the Army Design Bureau. He later called-on the Vice President of India Jagdeep Dhankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and Deputy National Security Advisor Vikram Misri.
Later in the day, the visiting General Officer was accorded a Ceremonial reception and Guard of Honour at the South Block lawns after which he called on General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Army Staff. During the meeting, General Manoj Pande, COAS reaffirmed India’s support to Cambodia by offering customised training modules for the Royal Cambodian Army and Lt General Hun Manet announced the schedule for the conduct of first Army to Army Staff Talks in Cambodia. The Indian Army will be conducting tailor made courses in various contemporary subjects at its premier training establishments and deploy a Training team to Cambodia. Both Chiefs signed the ‘Terms of Reference’ for Staff Talks and exchanged customised training folders.
On February 4, 2023, Lt Genera; Hun Manet is scheduled to visit Rajputana Rifles Regimental Centre Delhi Cantt, where he will witness the training of Agniveers and a display of indigenous defence equipment. He is also scheduled to call-on General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff prior to his departure from New Delhi.
India and Cambodia have shared centuries old cultural, religious and people to people connect. Cambodia remains a key partner in India’s ‘Act East’ policy. Both nations share cordial relations in the field of defence and security. Defence Cooperation between both countries is governed by Bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in 2007. Military relations between India and Cambodia have grown over the recent past and are planned to expand in various fields such as training cooperation, Counter-IED, demining and UN Peacekeeping. Bilateral mechanism between both the Armies is being institutionalised by means of Army to Army Staff Talks which will enhance the defence cooperation between the two countries.
Direct relationship with the present day Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) was established by the Indian Battalions (1 ASSAM Regt and 4 JAK RIF) forming part of UNTAC (UN Transition Authority in Cambodia) after the Paris Peace accord in 1991. The visit by Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister of India to Cambodia in June 2018 and November 2022 provided fresh impetus to further elevate the bilateral defence cooperation to a higher level.