The Prime Minister welcomed President Biden’s strong commitment to strengthen the India-US Strategic Partnership

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi this evening.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi expressed happiness to meet the visiting dignitary. The Prime Minister said he welcomed President Biden’s strong commitment to strengthen the India-US Strategic Partnership which is anchored in shared democratic values and is a force for global good.

The US has announced an additional 25 million dollars to support India’s COVID-19 vaccination program. In a tweet, Blinken said that the United States’ support will help save lives by strengthening vaccine supply chains across India.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a meeting at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

In his opening remarks, Jaishankar highlighted that India-US cooperation covers virtually all domains of contemporary relevance. Cooperation against the Covid pandemic was also highlighted by the External Affairs Minister.

The EAM also spoke on striving for peace and prosperity in Indo-Pacific, working for democratic stability in Afghanistan, deepening the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue Quad and working even closer on contemporary challenges and conversations on global issues based on real exchanges of national experiences and historical perspectives.

The US Secretary of State said President Biden’s determination is to continue to grow stronger the relationship between India and the US.

He deeply appreciated the work that both countries have been able to do together. US Secretary of State Blinken said there is not a challenge that does not have an impact on lives of our citizens whether it’s COVID, disruptive impact of emerging technologies that can be addressed by any one of us acting alone.

He said there is a greater imperative on cooperation among countries than ever before.

Earlier speaking to the media Jaishankar said in the discussions today, both sides focused on expanding vaccine production to make it globally affordable and accessible.

He acknowledged the responsiveness of the Biden administration to keeping the raw material supply chains open for vaccine production in India and thanked for the support India received during COVID second wave from the US.

On a media query on Chinese criticism of Quad, Jaishankar said, groups of countries working together is not strange and BRICS is one such example.

Blinken said, “Our bilateral ties are enhanced to a level that enables us to deal collaboratively with larger issue.”

He said Defence Secretary Austin and he look forward to hosting the Indian counterparts later this year for the 2+2 dialogue. He said both sides discussed regional security issues including Afghanistan. The US Secretary of State said as a credible partner in the region, India has and will continue to make vital contributions to Afghanistan’s stability and development.

Blinken said even as theUS withdraws its forces from Afghanistan, it remains engaged in Afghanistan. He said the Taliban are making advances in district centres and there are reports of them committing atrocities in Afghanistan.

It’s deeply troubling and it certainly does not speak well about their intention for the country. He said the US remains engaged in Afghanistan.

Replying to a question on QUAD, Blinken said, four like-minded countries coming together to work on some of the most important issues of time that are going to have real impact on the lives of the people and do so in a way that ensures a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The visiting US Secretary of State also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Both sides discussed strategic issues of importance in security, defence, economic and technology-related sectors. Special attention was on long term measures to take the relationship to the next level. Views were also exchanged on contemporary and futuristic issues related to Regional and Global Security.