External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Meets US Secretary Of State Antony Blinken On G-20 Sidelines

The Ukraine crisis is believed to have figured in the talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar meeting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Friday held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G-20 foreign ministers' meeting (FMM). 

The meeting took place in Indonesia's Bali and focused on a range of challenges with "greater understanding and openness". 

"Continued the conversation with Secretary Blinken on global and regional issues, this time at Bali G-20 FMM. Our relationship today allows us to approach a range of challenges with greater understanding and openness," said Jaishankar in a tweet.

In his public remarks before meeting Jaishankar, Blinken said they are together at the G-20 "to deal collectively with some of the most significant problems and challenges that the world faces".

Listing the challenges, he said, "Whether it is on the challenging side –food insecurity, energy insecurity, climate change– but also whether it’s opportunities for growth, for jobs, for progress, people’s lives, the G20 is a vital institution."   

Blinken further said, "But in all of this, India is a great partner for the United States.  We’re working together on virtually every single one of these issues, and I look forward to pursuing the conversation that we’ve been engaged in for the last 18 months."

The Ukraine crisis is believed to have figured in the talks.

"And, of course, unfortunately, tragically, many of the challenges that the world faces that are having an impact on the lives of people, particularly when it comes to food, to energy – these challenges have been dramatically exacerbated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine," said Blinken on the Ukraine crisis in his public remarks shared by the US Department of State.

On his part, Jaishankar said, "I think developing countries find that their options are very constricted...They’re really reeling under our process and debilitating challenges..., some of which we’ll be working on at the next session. 

"But I also look forward to the occasion today to discuss our bilateral relationship...very well. Over the last year and a half we’ve seen some really remarkable developments in our ties...Thank you."

Jaishankar also held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Bali.

India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

In the last few months, India has also increased the import of discounted crude oil from Russia notwithstanding increasing disquiet over it by several Western powers. India's crude oil imports from Russia have jumped over 50 times since April and now it makes up for 10 per cent of all crude bought from overseas. 

The G-20 is a leading grouping that brings together the world's major economies. Its members account for more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade, and 60 per cent of the population of the planet.

The members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.

Each year, the Presidency invites guest countries, which take full part in the G20 exercise. Several international and regional organisations also participate, granting the forum an even broader representation. 

(With PTI inputs)