External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said that he held a discussion with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on several issues including the ongoing war in Ukraine, the situation in Afghanistan, challenges pertaining to the Indo-Pacific region and a range of key bilateral issues.
Delivering his statement after the conclusion of the fourth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, he said, “A good part of my meeting with Secretary Blinken in the morning went to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine that has many ramifications. Even countries far away are worried about food security, energy security and commodities prices and logistics disruption.”
“This comes on top of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic with which the world has been struggling in the last two years. Quite apart from public health concerns and its economic impact, this has raised concerns about the need for resilient and reliable supply chains,” he added.
Mr Jaishankar informed India-US also discussed ways to ensure a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. “How to ensure a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific was also on our agenda today. We spoke of developments in and around Afghanistan that have made their ripple felt beyond. Our conversations also covered the recent happenings in the Indian subcontinent,” he said.
A strategic partnership like those between India-US, Mr Jaishankar said is built through shared interest, common values and constant nurturing. “It is natural that each of us will bring to the relationship our particular perspectives, experiences and priorities.”
“But when there is a mutual appreciation of ties, there is also a desire to better understand each other’s thinking. Our dialogue today has helped in that regard,” he added.
Terming the “report card” of the India-US bilateral ties impressive, the minister noted the great strides made in the defence ties between the two countries and also appreciated ties in the field of counterterrorism and maritime security.
On the issue of economic ties, Mr Jaishankar said both trade and investment are steadily growing.
“The economic side of the story is particularly significant. Both trade and investment are steadily growing. We have had discussions on both of them as also on connectively, infrastructure, digital issues, climate action and energy. Our shared activities in space, science and technology, and health are also noteworthy. We see our cooperation as having a larger relevance for the Indo-Pacific.”
In a changing world, Mr Jaishankar said the India-US ties have not only kept pace but emerged as major contributors to major peace, stability and prosperity.
“The bedrock of our relationship is its human element. It could be the students who come to universities. The flow of talent that defines our knowledge partnership or indeed the technology and business relationships which promote innovation,” he added.
The minister also informed that challenges in the Indo-Pacific have been of particular focus in the discussions. “We appreciate the attention and energy devoted by the US to the Quad. Its elevation and intensification benefit the entire Indo-Pacific.”
US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held today at Washington.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today held a virtual meeting with United States President Joe Biden wherein both the leaders had an extensive exchange of views on several regional and global issues, such as the Ukraine situation, the Indo-Pacific region.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)