New Delhi: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s met with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Wednesday. Antony Blinken expressed the Biden administration’s intent to grow stronger bilateral ties with New Delhi and stressed the importance of cooperation on various issues including COVID-19 and climate change.
Blinken arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday to discuss wide-ranging issues with Indian officials including vaccine cooperation, Afghanistan, and the Indo-Pacific region. EAM Jaishankar and Blinken are slated to hold a joint press conference at 2.30 pm. He is also, scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later today.
“We have seen over the last couple of decades that the relationship has grown stronger and deeper across multiple administrations in both countries. President Biden’s determination is to continue to grow stronger the relationship between India and the US,” Blinken said in his opening remarks ahead of his meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
“There isn’t a challenge that doesn’t have an impact on lives of our citizens whether it’s COVID, changing climate, the disruptive impact of emerging technologies, that can be addressed by any one of us acting alone. There’s a greater imperative on cooperation among countries than ever before,” he said.
EAM Jaishankar, meanwhile, expressed confidence that Blinken’s visit will be productive and the quality of the discussions will fully reflect the strength of bilateral relations. The minister added that responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has added new facets to India-US cooperation, in an increasingly multipolar world.
He was heard saying, “Our bilateral cooperation has vastly expanded in the last few years. Our interests are shared, our concerns are similar and our convergences are strong. Talks today will provide an updated direction to our colleagues to translate these into practical outcomes”.
Jaishankar also said, “Peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific are as important for both of us as democratic stability in Afghanistan. Deepening the Quad as a qualitative platform is in our mutual interest and we must work together even more closely on key contemporary challenges like terrorism, climate change, pandemics and resilient supply chains.”