US secretary of state Antony Blinken and Indian foreign minister Jaishankar address joint conference; reiterate their support on various geopolitical issues
GG News Bureau
New Delhi , 29th July. The United States secretary of state Anthony Blinken on a two-day visit to India met several leaders in the country and discussed issues on regional security issues including Afghanistan, Covid challenges and climate change etc. In a joint address both echoed that there was much more convergence on the matter than divergence bilaterally with each other.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Wednesday said that there are few relationships more vital than the one between India and the United States. Speaking at a joint press conference after India-US delegation-level talks, Blinken said the Covid-19 pandemic hit both countries very hard and the US will not forget the aid and assistance India provided early in the pandemic.
“I am proud we could return the gesture to India,” Blinken told the press conference, referring to the assistance provided to India during the second Covid wave.
Blinken said that the democracy was a work in progress and the two major democracies such as United states and India were working to meet the challenges effectively.
Speaking on Afghanistan he stressed that both sides are committed to the proposition that there is no military solution to the conflict.
Jaishankar, the Indian a foreign minister welcomed Blinken back to Delhi and said that our meeting is taking place at important juncture when key global and regional challenges need to be effectively addressed. “Our Bilateral partnership has advanced to a level that it enables us to deal with the larger issues collaboratively and it is a matter of particular satisfaction”.
Jaishankar further said that that PM Narendra Modi and P President Biden have spoken numerous times and participated in summits of the QUAD, G7 and climate summit this year. “I have met secretary Blinked four times this year and it is our responsibility to regular review cooperation with each other and keep our leaders apprised of the progress made in developing close, said Jaishankar.
Jaishankar said that much has happened in the field of response to Covid challenge, cooperation on defense security, encouraging trade and investment, addressing climate change or expanding education innovation in 2021.
The Covid issue was naturally particular priority and India acknowledges the responsiveness of Biden administration to keeping the raw material supply chain open for vaccination in India and I also thank the Biden administration for its support to India during the Covid second wave that was truly exceptional. Jaishankar said that we focused on expanding Covid vaccine production to make it globally affordable and accessible. We also discussed travel challenges resulting from Covid.
The US has been very forthcoming on students, and I really appreciate the trouble that state department and embassy has gone through and very such hope that it will take a sympathetic view of other travelers to united states. He also said that the regional concerns, multilateral institutions and global issues, the expanding Indian footprint be it Africa, Southeast Asia Caribbean or the South Pacific has broadened the shared agenda and among many issues we looked the issue of Afghanistan, the Indo Pacific and Gulf.
Regarding Afghanistan he said that it is essential that peace negotiations are taken seriously by all parties. The world wishes to see an independent, Sovereign, democratic and stable Afghanistan and at peace with itself and with its neighbors but its independence, and sovereignty will only be insured if it is free from malign influences similarly unilateral imposition of will by any party will obviously will not be democratic and can never lead to stability, nor indeed such efforts can acquire legitimacy.
The gains to Afghan civil society specially on rights of women minority and on social freedom over last two decades are self-evident and we must work collectively to preserve them, and Afghanistan should not be home to terrorism or resource of it, said Jaishankar.
On the other side of India, the Indo-Pacific poses different set of challenges to stability growth and prosperity and under the aegis of Quad framework we are engaged on maritime security HADR, counter terrorism, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber and digital concerns, Covid 19 response and climate action, education, and resilient and reliable supply chains. Observing international law rules, laws were also discussed. Our ability to work closely benefits international community as whole.
The development in our neighbourhood is also of concern. Supporting the democratic transition of Myanmar and the stability in gulf issue was also discussed.
Countering terrorism has been a common agenda in the UN framework bilaterally and other bodies and we are convinced that world will never accept cross border terrorism. As regarding to climate change the agenda 2030 partnership launched in April strengthened our commitment to Paris goals. Secretary Blinken speaking on the issue of Afghanistan said that
There must be a peaceful resolution that requires the Taliban and the Afghan government to come to the table and we both agree. “I think, strongly that any future government in Afghanistan has to be inclusive and fully representative of Afghan people,” said Blinken, adding that it has to be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.”
The Taliban have been rapidly making advances in Afghanistan after US troops started withdrawal from the war-torn region. But Blinken said that the US remains engaged in Afghanistan through important programmes that support the country economically through development and security assistance.
Blinken said there are few relationships in the world that are more vital than between India and United states as we are two of the world’s leading democracies and are diversity fuels are national strengths. We are two of the world’s largest economies powered by inhibited spirit of our people. Indian and American people are united by family ties stretching generations and by shared values and aspirations.
Together the initiative taken by India and United states are shaping the 21st century and beyond and that is the reason it is a top priority for United states to strengthen the relationship with India. President Biden feels a deep personal commitment as making this relationship as strong and as effective as it can be.
Blinken said that We believe this partnership will be critical for delivering stability and prosperity in the Indo pacific region and beyond and for showing the world how democracies can deliver for the people. United States will send additional 25 million support for vaccination across India and this funding will contribute to saving lives and strengthening vaccine supply chain logistics, addressing the misinformation of vaccine hesitancy and helping to train more health care workers India and United States will work together to end this pandemic including through Quad vaccine partnership which will be a safe vaccine for others across the region. India and united States will be lead in bringing this pandemic to an end and I hope we will set up stronger global health security systems to avert next pandemic said Blinken. The future of 21st century will be written in this part of the region, he added.
We believe that this partnership will be important in delivering stability in the Indo pacific region and beyond and showing the world on how democracies can deliver to its people. We thank for the support given to US during the first wave of Covid pandemic and we ae happy to reciprocate in helping India in the second wave. We have given over 200 million dollars as aid for Covid and there has been a huge outpouring of help to India from Individual Americans and Private sectors. India and United States share a common interest in secure stable and peaceful Afghanistan. India has made vital contribution towards stable Afghanistan and will continue to do so.