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Blinken Visit: US Secretary Of State Meets S Jaishankar To Discuss Afghanistan, Covid

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also held separate meetings with NSA Ajit Doval and leaders of civil society in India.

Blinken Visit: US Secretary Of State Meets S Jaishankar To Discuss Afghanistan, Covid
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meeting India's foreign minister S Jaishankar in Delhi on Wednesday | Twitter
Blinken Visit: US Secretary Of State Meets S Jaishankar To Discuss Afghanistan, Covid
outlookindia.com
2021-07-28T13:48:09+05:30

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in India for his two-day maiden visit. On Wednesday, Blinken met with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Union Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar as well as attended a meeting of civil society leaders.

Jaishankar and Blinken on Wednesday began talks covering an extensive agenda that included rapidly evolving security situation in Afghanistan, ways to boost Indo-Pacific engagement and enhancing COVID-19 response efforts among others.

"A broad-based, multi-sectoral, global comprehensive strategic partnership. EAM @DrSJaishankar welcomes US Secretary of State @SecBlinken," external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted along with a photograph of the two leaders.

Before meeting Jaishankar, Blinken held talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on a range of bilateral and regional issues including the security situation in Afghanistan.

Earlier, Blinken met civil society leaders after which he said the US and India share a commitment to democratic values and it is part of the bedrock of the relationship.

"I was pleased to meet civil society leaders today. The US and India share a commitment to democratic values; this is part of the bedrock of our relationship and reflective of India's pluralistic society and history of harmony. Civil society helps advance these values," he tweeted.

Blinken's reached India on Tuesday evening on a two-day visit with an extensive agenda featuring the rapidly evolving security situation in Afghanistan, boosting Indo-Pacific engagement and ways to enhance COVID-19 response efforts among others.

It 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 it came to power in January.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visited India in March while US Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry travelled to New Delhi in April.

However, it is learnt that ways to expand bilateral ties and the situation in Afghanistan figured in the talks.

 Blinken began his engagements in India in the morning with a meeting with a number of civil society leaders.

Following the meeting, Blinken said on Twitter that the US and India share a commitment to democratic values and it is part of the bedrock of the relationship and reflective of India's pluralistic society.

"I was pleased to meet civil society leaders today. The US and India share a commitment to democratic values; this is part of the bedrock of our relationship and reflective of India's pluralistic society and history of harmony. Civil society helps advance these values," he said. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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