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PM Modi Meets US Secretary of State Blinken; Discusses Covid Crisis, Afghanistan Issue & Others



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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday welcomed President Joe Biden’s strong commitment to strengthen the India-US strategic partnership when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on him.

“Good to meet US Secretary of State @SecBlinken today. I welcome President Biden’s strong commitment to strengthen the India-US Strategic Partnership, which is anchored in our shared democratic values and is a force for global good,” PM Modi tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi said that the societies of the US and India share a deep commitment to the values of democracy, freedom and liberty, and the Indian diaspora in the US has contributed immensely to the enhancement of bilateral ties, according to a statement by the prime minister’s office.

In the meeting, Modi conveyed his warm greetings to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and his appreciation for the initiatives taken by President Biden including those related to the Quad, COVID-19 and climate change.

“The prime minister noted that the India-US Strategic Partnership will be of even greater global significance in the coming years, in the context of the challenges posed by COVID-19, global economic recovery and climate change,” the statement said.

It said Secretary Blinken appreciated the increasing convergence between India and US on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues, and the commitment of both strategic partners to convert this convergence into concrete and practical cooperation.

“Secretary Blinken conveyed greetings of President Biden and Vice President Harris to the Prime Minister,” it said.

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The statement said Blinken briefed Modi on his fruitful exchanges with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval earlier in the day and expressed strong commitment to further deepen India-US strategic relations in various sectors including defence, maritime security, trade and investment, climate change and science and technology.

Earlier, Blinken held wide-ranging talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar covering the situation in Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific engagements and Covid-19 response mechanism among others.

Blinken also held talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval with a focus on taking the relationship to the “next level”.

The US Secretary of State arrived here on Tuesday evening on a two-day visit with an extensive agenda for talks.

This is Blinken’s first visit to India after assuming charge as the US Secretary of State and the third by a high-ranking Biden administration official after it came to power in January.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visited India in March while US Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry travelled to New Delhi in April.

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