Current AffairsIndia

Jaishankar meets Blinken, discuss COVID-19 relief, Indo-Pacific

Washington: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday met his US counterpart Antony Blinken in-person here and discussed the COVID-19 relief, coup in Myanmar, climate change and strengthening cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken welcomed Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar to the Department of State, where he reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to deepening the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar discussed a broad range of issues, including COVID-19 relief, efforts to strengthen Indo-Pacific cooperation through the Quad, and a shared commitment to combating the climate crisis and enhancing multilateral cooperation, including at the UN Security Council,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

“Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar also discussed regional developments, the coup in Burma, and continuing support for Afghanistan. Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar pledged to continue their cooperation on shared economic and regional security priorities, the spokesperson added.

Earlier in the day, talking to reporters, Mr Blinken said: The US and India are united in confronting COVID-19 and in dealing with the challenge posed by climate change, and we are partnered together directly through the Quad and other institutions at the United Nations in dealing with many of the challenges that we face in the region and around the world.

“I think our relations have grown stronger over the years, and I’m very confident they’ll continue to do so. But I also want to take the opportunity to express to the Secretary and through him to the administration, to the United States, for the strong support and solidarity at a moment of great difficulty for us. So as he said, we have many things to talk about, but I thought that’s something I should express,” the State Department official website quoted Mr Jaishankar as saying.

“We remember in the earlier days of COVID, India was there for the United States, something we’ll never forget, and now we want to make sure that we’re there for and with India,” Mr Blinken said.

In the last three months, both the leaders have spoken at least four times. Last time they met on May 3 on the sidelines of the G-7 meeting in London.

This is the first senior-level minister’s US visit since the Joe Biden assumed the office in January this year.

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