Blinken to meet PM Modi, EAM Jaishankar today on his maiden India visit

NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar, on his first visit to India after assuming office.

The top US diplomat, who landed in New Delhi on Tuesday, is set to discuss wide-ranging issues with Indian officials including vaccine cooperation, Afghanistan, and the Indo-Pacific region.
At 10:00 am he is scheduled to meet National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. Later 11:15 am the Secretary of State will meet with officials, staff of the US Mission in India.

Then at noon, Blinken will hold a discussion with EAM Jaishankar. Thereafter, they will hold a joint press conference at 2.30 pm. Finally, the US Secretary of State will call on PM Modi. According to the State Department, Blinken will discuss a wide range of issues including Indo-Pacific engagement and shared regional security interests. He will also discuss ways to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan during talks with the Indian leadership.

A state department official last week had said that “Our bilateral discussions with our Indian partners will focus on expanding our security, defense, cyber, and counterterrorism cooperation.”

India and the US will also discuss health collaboration to combat COVID-19, including the Quad vaccine partnership that was first announced during President Biden’s Quad summit.¬†Both sides will review the multifaceted India-US bilateral relations and the potential for consolidating them further.

The visit holds significance as Afghanistan is witnessing a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against Afghan forces and civilians with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away. (ANI)