Antony Blinken in India Updates: 'We view India as a force for good in defence of free, open Indo-Pacific,' says US Secretary of State

Antony-blinken News: Antony Blinken’s India visit, US Secretary Of State Antony Blinken Arrives In Delhi On A Two-day Visit To India,will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister S Jaishanka, and Doval Today, Security High on Agenda as Blinken Meets Jaishankar,

FP Staff July 28, 2021 16:32:48 IST
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Antony Blinken in India Updates: 'We view India as a force for good in defence of free, open Indo-Pacific,' says US Secretary of State

Talks between India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are underway. Image courtesy: Twitter@MEAIndia

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July 28, 2021 - 16:10 (IST)

Watch: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar address reporters after talks

July 28, 2021 - 16:33 (IST)

'We view India as a force for good in defence of free, open Indo-Pacific,' says Blinken

While addressing reporters, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke about the shared values that strengthen the India-US relationship. 

"Like our own, India's democracy is powered by its free thinking citizens. We applaud that. We view Indian democracy as a force for good in defence of a free and open Indo-Pacific and a free and open world," he said.

"We talk about in our founding document, search for a more perfect union that means that we are not perfect. Our quest is to get closer to the ideals we set for ourselves. At times, the challenge is painful and ugly, but as democracies, we do it openly," he added.

July 28, 2021 - 16:01 (IST)

Quad is not a military alliance, goal is reinforce international rules: Blinken

While addressing reporters after holding exetnsive talks with India's foreign minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed that the Quad or Quardrilateal Security Dialogue, is not a military alliance.

"What Quad is? It's quite simple but as important. 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 in a way that ensures a free and open Indo-Pacific," Blinken said in New Delhi, according to ANI.

The Quad is a forum which includes US, India, Australia and Japan, but has been posited by China as the future "Asian NATO".

Rejecting that view, Blinken said, "Quad is not a military alliance. Its purpose is to advance cooperation on regional challenges while reinforcing international rules and values that we believe together underpin peace, proseparity, stability in the region."

July 28, 2021 - 15:48 (IST)

Taliban wants its leaders to travel freely in the world, sanctions lifted: Blinken

July 28, 2021 - 15:39 (IST)

Reports of Taliban committing attrocities in Afghanistan deeply troubling, says Antony Blinken

July 28, 2021 - 15:31 (IST)

Engaged in diplomacy of working to bring parties together: Blinken on Afghanistan

Speaking on Afghanistan, Blinken said, "Even as we withdraw our forces from Afghanistan, we remain engaged in Afghanistan. We have not only a strong embassy there but also have important programmes that support the country economically through development and security assistance."

"We are very much engaged in the diplomacy of working to bring parties together at the table for the resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken," he added.

July 28, 2021 - 15:19 (IST)

July 28, 2021 - 15:12 (IST)

S Jaishankar thanks US govt for keeping raw material supply chains open for vaccine production

July 28, 2021 - 15:02 (IST)

Democracy should not be used to provoke antagonism, says Chinese FM

In an apparent reference to US secretary of State Antony Blinken's remarks highlighting "a democratic recession" across the world, the Chinese foreign ministry said that Democracy should not be used to discredit other countries or provoke antagonism.

"Which country is democratic and which country is authoritarian is not defined by a few countries," the Chinese FM said, according to News18.

In a transcript of Blinken's address to civil society organisations in Inia, the US State Department quoted Blinken as saying, 

While addressing civil society organisations in India, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had said US, India must work against threats to democracy.

"At a time of rising global threats to democracy and international freedoms - we talk about a democratic recession -- it's vital that we two world leading democracies continue to stand together in support of these ideals," blinken noted, as per a transcript of his address was released by the US State department.

According to Reuters, Blinken on Wednesday also met with a representative of Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in New Delhi on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson said, a move that may have proviked China's reaction as well.

July 28, 2021 - 14:05 (IST)

India-US cooperation covers all domains of contemporary relevance: MEA

Listing out the broad topics that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar listed out in his opening remarks during the meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the MEA stressed on how the India-US cooperation covers virtually all domains of contemporary relevance.

Jaishankar highligted the shared interests, similar concerns and cooperation that India and US showed against COVID-19 pandemic in his opening remark, the MEA tweeted.

Blinken is on a two-day visit to India to hold talks with Jaishankar and India's NSA Ajit Doval on topics related to regional security, defence, China, Quad and recent human rights records of India. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived in India on Tuesday on a two-day maiden visit to expand the strong and growing bilateral partnership, said that the reports of Taliban committing attrocities in Afghanistan is deeply troubling. Bliken also said that the US sees India as a force for good in defending a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke about the shared values that strengthen the India-US relationship.

"Like our own, India's democracy is powered by its free thinking citizens. We applaud that. We view Indian democracy as a force for good in defence of a free and open Indo-Pacific and a free and open world," Bliken said while addressing reporters.

"We talk about in our founding document, search for a more perfect union that means that we are not perfect. Our quest is to get closer to the ideals we set for ourselves. At times, the challenge is painful and ugly, but as democracies, we do it openly," he added.

Blinken, who is a two-day visit to India, held talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and India's NSA Ajit Doval on topics related to regional security, defence, China, Quad and recent human rights records of India.

Speaking on Aghanistan, Blinken said, "Even as we withdraw our forces from Afghanistan, we remain engaged in Afghanistan. We have not only a strong embassy there but also have important programmes that support the country economically through development and security assistance."

"We are very much engaged in the diplomacy of working to bring parties together at the table for the resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken," he added.

"The Taliban is making advances in district centres, there are reports of them committing atrocities in Afghanistan. It's deeply troubling. It certainly doesn't speak well about their intention for the country. We remain engaged in Afghanistan," Blinken added.

Jaishankar, who opened the presser, thanked the Joe Biden administration for keeping the supply chains opens during the pandemic. "Let me acknowledge responsiveness of Biden administration to keeping the raw material supply chains open for vaccine production in India & then say big thanks for the support we received during COVID second wave from US, a support that was truly exceptional," Jaishankar said.

He also said that that China needs to get over the idea that others are doing something to target them.

According to the MEA, Jaishankar, in his opening remark during the meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, stressed on how the India-US cooperation covers virtually all domains of contemporary relevance.

Jaishankar highligted the shared interests, similar concerns and cooperation that India and US showed against COVID-19 pandemic in his opening remarks, the MEA tweeted.

The meeting was held amid US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and Jaishankar was expected to bring up India's security concerns, including seeking US help in keeping up the pressure on Pakistan to give up its support to terrorism.

The matter of Indo-Pacific security, China's growing assertiveness and the Quad as a possible response to that were also among topics being discussed, reports said.

Blinken's India visit reportedly focus on a plethora of pressing issues such as the fluid situation in Afghanistan, regional security concerns, COVID-19 response and ways to boost Indo-Pacific engagement, people familiar with the agenda of talks said.

"India is a leading global power and a key US partner in the Indo-Pacific and beyond," the US State Department had said in the fact sheet which was shared with reporters by the US embassy after Blinken's arrival on Tuesday.

"A partnership anchored in shared values, mutual interests and goodwill. Welcome to US Secretary of State @SecBlinken on his arrival in Delhi," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had .

Blinken will also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi before leaving for Kuwait as part of his two-nation tour.

".@SecBlinken is wheels down in New Delhi for meetings with our Indian partners. We're excited to expand the strong and growing #USIndia partnership," US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Twitter.

The US State Department said Blinken is visiting India to reaffirm the United States' commitment to strengthening the partnership and underscore cooperation on shared priorities.

"Secretary Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to discuss a wide range of issues, including continued cooperation on COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis," it said.

This is Blinken's first visit to India after assuming charge as the US Secretary of State and the third by a high-ranking Biden administration official after visits to New Delhi by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin in March and Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry in April.

According to a media advisory released by the Ministry of External Affairs, Blinken will be in Delhi for a little over 20 hours. His meeting with Jaishankar was scheduled to begin at 12 pm and he will call on Prime Minister Modi at 4:30 pm. Blinken is scheduled to emplane from Delhi at 5:30 PM.

Just before leaving for India, Blinken had said that he was looking forward to consultations with partners of the US for further cooperation in support of its shared interests in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East.

"Wheels up for my trip to New Delhi and Kuwait City. I look forward to consultations with our partners to further cooperation in support of our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific and Middle East," he tweeted.

It is learnt that situation in Afghanistan, expansion of cooperation under Quad, regional security concerns in the wake of China's aggressive behaviour and issues relating to the Indo-Pacific will dominate the talks.

People familiar with the agenda of the visit said both sides will extensively deliberate on the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan with the Taliban increasing its hostilities in an attempt to seize control of new areas in the country.

Afghanistan witnessed a series of terror attacks in the last few weeks as the US withdrew the majority of its troops and is looking at completing the drawdown by August 31, ending nearly two-decade of its military presence in the country.

In the talks, the Indian side is expected to raise the implications of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan on terror financing and terrorist safe havens.

"The United States and India are also closely coordinating on regional security issues, such as Afghanistan," the State Department said.

In the talks, both sides are also expected to explore ways to deepen defence collaboration, including exercises, defence transfers and technologies ahead of the next edition of the 2+2 defence and foreign ministerial dialogue to be held in the US later this year.

"US-India defence cooperation is reaching new heights, including through information sharing, liaison officers, increasingly complex exercises like Malabar, and defence enabling agreements, such as the secure communications agreement COMCASA," the State Department said in the fact-sheet under a sub-heading "Deterring Our Adversaries and Defending Our Interests".

"As of 2020, the United States has authorised over $20 billion in defence sales to India. Through the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the United States and India work together on co-production and co-development of defence equipment," it said.

The two sides signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018 that provides for interoperability between the two militaries and provides for the sale of high-end technology from the US to India.

In the talks, India and the US are also expected to look at implementing the Quad vaccine initiative.

On coronavirus pandemic, it said the US and India are partnering to strengthen the global response to COVID-19 and on issues ranging from addressing infectious disease outbreaks to strengthening health systems to securing global supply chains.

"US pharmaceutical companies have coordinated with Indian companies since the beginning of the pandemic. This cooperation includes voluntary licensing and technology transfer agreements to increase global manufacturing capacity," it said.

In his address, Austin said Beijing's claim to the vast majority of the South China Sea has no basis in international law.

"That assertion treads on the sovereignty of states in the region. We continue to support the region's coastal states in upholding their rights under international law.

And we remain committed to the treaty obligations that we have to Japan in the Senkaku Islands and to the Philippines in the South China Sea," he said.
Referring to COVID-19, he said when India was besieged, its friends stepped up.

In the talks, India and the US are also likely to focus on ways to augment trade and investment ties besides looking at opportunities in healthcare, education, digital domains.

After arriving in India, Blinken tweeted that he spoke to Nepal's Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and discussed the advancement of the US-Nepal partnership including cooperation on the shared fight against COVID-19 and the effects of climate change.

Updated Date:

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