External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday in London and thanked him for the support the US has extended to India to fight the Covid-19 crisis.
Jaishankar is on a four-day visit to London to take part in the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' summit, which will begin today.
"Good to meet in person my old friend Secretary Blinken. Detailed discussion on the global COVID challenge, focusing on expanded vaccine production capacity and reliable supply chains," Jaishankar tweeted.
Good to meet in person my old friend @SecBlinken. Detailed discussion on the global Covid challenge, focussing on expanded vaccine production capacity and reliable supply chains. pic.twitter.com/iQZmGjuPi5— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 3, 2021
The minister further said that he, “Expressed appreciation for the strong US support to India at this difficult time, especially oxygen and Remdesivir.”
According to Jaishankar’s tweets the duo also discussed issues such as climate change, violence in Myanmar and developments in the Indo-Pacific region.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement issued in Washington that the two leaders reviewed recent efforts in the fight against Covid-19, including US assistance to India, and expressed appreciation for each country’s support throughout the pandemic.
Jaishankar and Blinken discussed "addressing the Covid-19 challenge and deepening the US-India comprehensive global strategic partnership”, Price said.
During the meeting, Blinken reaffirmed India’s important role when it comes to the climate crisis and as a leading partner in the Indo-Pacific, he said.
“They also discussed ways to deepen cooperation in multilateral fora, including at the UN Security Council and as a G7 guest country,” Price said, adding that the two leaders looked forward to continue the US-India cooperation on the full range of bilateral and global issues.
Earlier, Jaishankar described it as a very good meeting.
"Among the many subjects we discussed was first and foremost the strong support we are getting from the United States on dealing with the COVID situation. We are very, very appreciative of that," he told reporters in a joint appearance with Blinken in London.
"We also discussed how our collaboration could help globally in expanding vaccination capabilities," he said after their bilateral meeting.
In his brief remarks, Blinken recognised the contribution of India when the United States was facing the Covid-19 crisis.
"We remember so well when India came to our assistance in the early days of COVID in a very important and powerful way," Blinken said.
"We are joined in this fight together and determined to do everything we can to help," he added.
Meanwhile, Jaishankar will have his first interaction with the G7 leaders in London on Tuesday evening, when he joins foreign ministers from some of the world’s leading democracies to agree on decisive action on the most critical global issues such as threats to democracy.
In the first major in-person diplomatic gathering since the coronavirus pandemic began and the first gathering of G7 Foreign Ministers since 2019, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will lead discussions on pressing geopolitical issues that threaten to undermine democracy, freedoms and human rights.
This includes relations with Russia, China, and Iran as well as the crisis in Myanmar, the violence in Ethiopia and the ongoing war in Syria.
(With PTI inputs)
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