Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday discussed ways to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation in the Indo-Pacific region and cooperation in multilateral fora as they met on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in London.
The Foreign Minister 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.”
“Expressed appreciation for the strong US support to India at this difficult time, especially oxygen and Remdesivir. Our meeting also covered issues of Indo-Pacific, UN Security Council, Myanmar and climate change,” he added.
In joint remarks to the press after the meeting, Mr Jaishankar said India is “very, very appreciative” of the US support to tackle the surge in Covid-19 cases.
“And 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. We also discussed how our collaboration could help globally in expanding vaccination capabilities,” he said.
Mr Blinken said the US remembers how India came to “our assistance in the early days of COVID in a very important and powerful way, and we are joined in this fight together and determined to do everything we can to help”.
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 the US assistance to India, and expressed appreciation for each country’s support throughout the pandemic. They discussed “addressing the Covid-19 challenge and deepening the US-India comprehensive global strategic partnership”, he said. During the meeting, Mr 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,” Mr Price said.