New Delhi: In view of the ongoing Parliament session and related political activities, Defence Minister A.K. Antony has decided to pull out of the three-day ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus starting in Brunei on Wednesday.
The Defence Ministry took the decision in view of the ongoing Parliament session and other pressing work, Defence Ministry officials said.
Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh will attend the meeting on his behalf, they said.
Antony skips ASEAN meet in Brunei for Food Bill debate
Antony is heading several important political committees such as one on the formation of Telengana and the sitting of Parliament has also been extended to September 6 and important issues such as the Food Security Bill are being discussed.
Several countries of South East Asia take part in the meeting along with India, which has said that ASEAN and ADMM Plus was the architecture for maintaining peace in the region including the South China Sea issue.
Meanwhile, the Government has not yet approved a visit by the Chief of Air Staff N.A.K Browne to China which is expected to take place in the September-October timeframe.
Government, sources said, is of the view that a number of visits including that of Antony and NSA Shivshankar Menon have already taken place to Beijing this year and the Prime Minister and the Army Chief are also scheduled to visit there in the near future but not many senior-level visits have taken place from that country.
Browne is also the Chairman, Chiefs of Staffs Committee and had recently visited the US where he met the top military leadership there.