Antony Blinken in India LIVE Updates: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on a quick visit to India, spanning less than 24 hours, during which he will meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is Blinken’s first visit to India since he assumed charge under President Joe Biden and is the talks are expected to focus on issues ranging from Pakistan extending help to Taliban to China’s increasing might.
Here are the LIVE Updates:
• Speaking to a group of civil society leaders at a New Delhi hotel, Blinken said that the relationship between the United States and India was “one of the most important in the world”. “The Indian people and the American people believe in human dignity and equality of opportunity, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms including freedom of religion and belief . . . these are the fundamental tenets of democracies like ours,” he said. “And of course, both of our democracies are works in progress. As friends we talk about that.”
• In a clear reflection of Washington’s position towards certain Chinese actions, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin talked about China’s “unwillingness” to resolve disputes peacefully as well as “aggression against India”, in an apparent reference to the eastern Ladakh standoff.
• “A partnership anchored in shared values, mutual interests and goodwill. Welcome to US Secretary of State @SecBlinken on his arrival in Delhi,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
• The US State Department said Blinken is visiting India to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening the partnership and underscore cooperation on shared priorities.
• 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 visits to New Delhi by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin in March and Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry in April.
• Just before leaving for India, Blinken said he was looking forward to consultations with partners of the US for further cooperation in support of its shared interests in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East. “Wheels up for my trip to New Delhi and Kuwait City. I look forward to consultations with our partners to further cooperation in support of our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East,” he tweeted.