Jaishankar Visit Opportunity to Review Collaborations on Key Pillars of India-US Ties | India News
WASHINGTON: Minister of Foreign Affairs S Jaishankarvisit to Washington DC later this week, the first by a senior Indian minister under the Biden Administration, it is likely to focus on the entire gamut of India-US relations, ranging from strategic and bilateral ties to Quad and climate change, along with public health issues, which have now become a priority for both countries.
In the first 100 days of the new administration, President Joe Biden sent two of his top confidants: Defending Secretary Lloyd Austin and Climate Change Envoy John kerry – both of cabinet rank and part of his national security team, to India, reflecting on the importance he attaches to his ties with the country.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, officials say, Biden has handed over a “blank check” to India asking for whatever it needs to win the battle against the virus. So far, more than $ 500 million in Covid-19 assistance has been sent to India, including $ 100 million from the US government alone, the US business sector, non-profit organizations, and American Indian groups. they have also made unprecedented efforts in this regard.
However, given the way the India-US relationship has evolved over the past decade, regardless of which party is in power, the full range of ties is likely to be discussed when Jaishankar makes his first trip to the city under the Biden administration. officials here claimed.
An indication in this regard came from Department of State itself.
“The secretary looks forward to meeting with Minister Jaishankar during his visit and discussing a wide range of issues, including Covid-19 relief, efforts to strengthen Indo-Pacific cooperation through the Quad, enhanced UN and multilateral cooperation, and a range of other shared regional security and economic priorities, “said a State Department spokesman.
As such, the visit is likely to provide leaders with an opportunity to review ongoing collaborations on important pillars of the India-US relationship.Given the situation India is in at the moment, Covid-19 certainly It will be a major topic of discussion, but other equally important topics range from advocacy to climate change and developments in the neighborhood and the region as well.
Bilateral trade and quadruple cooperation, including improving India’s vaccine production capacity as part of the decision that was made in February, are among the key issues on the table.
Information technology (IT) and digital partnership, education and knowledge, and questions about how to increase bilateral trade are some of the other key areas that officials from the two countries are expected to focus on during Jaishankar’s visit to Washington DC.
Jaishankar, who is seen as a strategic thinker in the Biden administration’s senior leadership, is also slated to engage with the business community, including in sessions hosted by the US Business Council of India and the Strategy and Partnership Forum. from India from the US Pharmaceutical sector is expected.
The availability of ready-to-use vaccines is one of the issues, but the two countries are looking to chart a roadmap for sustained long-term cooperation on this issue, including co-production and development and creating an infrastructure for the problems. that may arise. in the coming months and years, as booster shots and tackling a possible third wave.
It is understood that Biden has asked his officials to remove all bureaucratic and financial hurdles in the way India is fighting the pandemic. As has been mentioned repeatedly, he regards India as a natural partner and ally.
In his conversation with the prime minister Narendra modi On April 26, Biden underscored that just as India sent aid to the US when the US healthcare system was collapsing at the beginning of the pandemic, the US is determined to help India in its time of need. This message has been echoed by Secretary of State Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.