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Jaishankar holds talks with his US counterpart Blinken in the UK, analyzes Covid-19 | India News


LONDON / WASHINGTON: Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in their first in-person meeting, discussed ways to deal with the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, the situation in the strategic Indo-Pacific region and cooperation in multilateral forums. .
Jaishankar, who is in the UK for a four-day visit, held talks with Blinken on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers meeting on Monday.
He thanked Blinken for the United States’ support in India’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ahead of the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers meeting on Tuesday, they also held discussions on issues related to the Indo-Pacific region, climate change, the UN Security Council and Myanmar, according to a tweet from Jaishankar. .
The focus of his discussion with Blinken was American support during India’s Covid-19 challenge, especially oxygen supply and Remdesivir.
“Good to meet my old friend, Secretary Blinken, in person. Detailed discussion on the global COVID challenge, focusing on expanded vaccine production capacity and reliable supply chains,” Jaishankar said on Twitter.
“He expressed his appreciation for the strong US support for India at this difficult time, especially oxygen and Remdesivir,” he said.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement issued in Washington that the two leaders reviewed recent efforts in the fight against Covid-19, including assistance from the US to India, and expressed their appreciation for the support of each country during the pandemic.
Jaishankar and Blinken discussed “addressing the Covid-19 challenge and deepening the comprehensive global strategic partnership between the United States and India,” Price said.
During the meeting, Blinken reaffirmed India’s important role in regards to the climate crisis and as a leading partner in the Indo-Pacific, he said.
“They also discussed ways to deepen cooperation in multilateral fora, including at the UN Security Council and as a G7 guest country,” Price said, adding that the two leaders hoped to continue cooperation between the United States and India throughout the United States. range of bilateral agreements and global affairs.
Previously, Jaishankar described it as a very good reunion.
“Among the many issues we discussed was, first and foremost, the strong support we are receiving from the United States to deal with the COVID situation. We are very, very grateful for that,” he told reporters in a joint appearance with Blinken in London. .
“We also discussed how our collaboration could help expand vaccination capabilities globally,” he said.
In his brief remarks, Blinken acknowledged India’s contribution as the United States faced the Covid-19 crisis.
“We remember very well when India came to our aid in the early days of Covid in a very important and powerful way.
“We are united in this fight together and determined to do everything we can to help,” Blinken said.
Meanwhile, sources in New Delhi said that Jaishankar and Blinken had an in-depth discussion on the Covid-19 challenge and India’s immediate requirements.
Blinken assured Jaishankar that the United States was closely following developments and would respond positively to any requirements from India.
The sources said the next shipment of medical supplies from the United States will land in India soon.
Jaishankar was also told that supplying oxygen and related equipment to India will remain a key US priority, the sources said.
The United States has also acted in response to India’s request for more Remdesivir drugs, they said.
The sources said that Jaishankar and Blinken also discussed how increased vaccine production in India can address both India’s own needs and global public health requirements.
They said that India and the United States will collaborate bilaterally, in Quad format and through multilateral initiatives.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US, and Australia shaped the long-pending proposal to establish the “Quad” to develop a new strategy to keep critical shipping lanes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
According to one source, “the conversation brought out the convergence of interests. The ministers reviewed the progress in practical cooperation in recent months.”
The conversation covered the agenda before the UN Security Council and other multilateral organizations, the sources said.
India and the United States also exchanged views on the Indo-Pacific strategic landscape, they added.
China, which is showing its military muscles in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, is embroiled in highly controversial territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea.
The country claims nearly the entire 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory.
China has built and militarized many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region.
It has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Both maritime areas in the South and East Seas of China are said to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital for world trade.

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