WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday embarked on a trip to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and India. Taking to his official Twitter handle, Blinken stated that he will attend the G20 Ministerial in India.
Blinken noted that he looks forward to advancing Central Asian partnerships. He tweeted, “Today I’m embarking on a trip to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and India. It will be my first time as Secretary visiting Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan — and I look forward to advancing our Central Asian partnerships. From there, I’ll head to India for the #G20 Ministerial.”
Blinken is on an official visit to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and India from February 28 to March 3, the US Department of State said in a statement. On March 1, Antony Blinken will visit India to participate in the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting.
He will attend a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in New Delhi, US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu said in a virtual briefing on February 24.
“They will talk about our strategic partner partnership but really focus on how we’re working together in the Asian Quad, in the G20, what we’re doing on defence cooperation, and the Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technologies that is being run out of the White House and the prime minister’s office,” Donald Lu said.
Blinken and Jaishankar will also meet with their Australian and Japanese counterparts who are a part of the QUAD Grouping, the US official informed reporters. Donald Lu said, “On March 3rd, the Secretary will also participate in a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Asian Quad, which is the United States, India, Japan, and Australia.” Blinken will also participate in a panel at the Raisina Dialogue.
“I’m not aware that they’ve ever had an hour-long public event where the foreign ministers have had a chance to talk about the quad and to demonstrate how is getting tangible and concrete things done in the Indo-Pacific,” Donald Lu said during a virtual briefing.
“I think we’re going to hear about what we’re doing on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief. We’ll hear about what we’re doing to improve security in the Indo-Pacific, in the Maritime Domain Awareness space. We will talk about achievements on vaccine diplomacy, and then you’ll hear about the launch of the Quad fellows programme, and a recent business and investment forum,” Donald Lu said.
The US Department of State in a statement said, “On March 1, he will travel to New Delhi to participate in the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which will focus on strengthening multilateralism and deepening cooperation on food and energy security, sustainable development, counter-narcotics, global health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
Before travelling to India, Blinken will visit Kazakhstan’s Astana on February 28, where he will meet with senior Kazakh officials to deepen bilateral cooperation between US and Kazakhstan. He will also participate in a C5+1 Ministerial with representatives of each of the five Central Asian states.
On the margins of the C5+1 ministerial, Blinken will meet senior government officials from the Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan to discuss opportunities for bilateral cooperation, , according to the statement released by the US Department of State.
After his visit to Uzbekistan, the US Secretary of State will travel to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he will meet with Uzbekistani officials to further advance ties between the two nations on bilateral and regional issues. (ANI)