A team led by Lieutenant General Hun Manet, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, is on a visit to India from February 2 to 4, 2023. This is the first visit by a Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army and represents a turning point in ties between the armies of both countries.
On February 3, 2023, the General Officer began his visit by laying a floral tribute at the National War Memorial in honor of the fallen soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces. He met with Mr. Giridhar Aramane, the Defense Secretary, and was briefed on the Indian indigenous defense equipment manufacturing eco-system by the Department of Defense Production (DDP) and the Army Design Bureau. He subsequently met with the Vice President of India, Shri Jagdeep Dhankar, the Defense Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, the External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, and the Deputy National Security Advisor, Mr. Vikram Misri.
Later in the day, a ceremonial welcome and Guard of Honor were held on the South Block lawns for the visiting General Officer, after which he met with General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff. General Manoj Pande, Chief of Army Staff, underlined India’s support for Cambodia by delivering customized training modules to the Royal Cambodian Army, while Lt Gen Hun Manet announced the schedule for the first Army to Army Staff Talks to be held in Cambodia.
In addition to deploying a training team to Cambodia, the Indian Army will provide courses on a variety of modern topics at its premier training facilities. Both chiefs signed the “Terms of Reference” for staff talks and exchanged customized learning folders.
Today, Lt Gen Hun Manet will go to the Rajputana Rifles Regimental Center in Delhi Cantt. There, he will see Agniveers being trained and see a display of defense equipment made in India. Before he leaves New Delhi, he is also scheduled to meet with General Anil Chauhan, who is the Chief of Defence Staff.
India and Cambodia have had cultural, religious, and people-to-people connections for hundreds of years. India’s “Act East” policy still needs Cambodia as a key partner. In the area of defense and security, both countries get along well. The Bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed in 2007, sets the rules for defense cooperation between the two countries.
India and Cambodia’s military ties have grown in recent years, and they plan to grow in many areas, such as training, Counter-IED, demining, and UN Peacekeeping. Army to Army Staff Talks are being used to formalize the relationship between the two armies. This will improve the way the two countries work together on defense.
After the Paris Peace Accord in 1991, the Indian Battalions (1 ASSAM Regt and 4 JAK RIF), which were part of UNTAC (UN Transition Authority in Cambodia), started working directly with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF). Shri Rajnath Singh, India’s Defense Minister, went to Cambodia in June 2018 and November 2022. These trips gave new impetus to taking defense cooperation between the two countries to a higher level.