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COVID-19 crisis, Indo-pacific dominate Jaishankar-Blinken talks in London

With the ongoing COVID crisis and US assistance to India in dealing with it, Indo Pacific dominated the talks between India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and US Secretary of state Antony Blinken in London. This was the first physical meeting between the 2 ministers since the new Biden administration took charge in January. Both of them have been in constant touch, telephonically and virtually.

After the meeting, EAM said we discussed, “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.”

So far US has sent 5 consignments of assistance to India to deal with the ongoing devastating COVID crisis. India has been reporting over 3 lakh cases of covid daily for days now. The assistance includes Oxygen concentrators and other related supplies.

The US Secretary of state said, “We remember so well when India came to our assistance in the early days of COVID in a very important and powerful way”, adding, “we are joined in this fight together and determined to do everything we can to help”.

The focus was also on vaccines, and how Indian vaccine production can address both India’s own needs and the world’s requirements. Under the Quad vaccine initiative, India will be producing a large number of vaccines for the countries in the Indo Pacific, with the US and Japan’s financial support and Australia’s logistical backing. Focus, expectedly on Indo Pacific, with sourcing saying ministers reviewed the “progress in practical cooperation” in recent months.

Both the ministers also discussed the agenda before United Nations Security Council, Climate change, the situation in Myanmar. In Myanmar, discussions centred on the ASEAN 5 point plan and its further progress.

Source: Thanks