EAM Jaishankar holds talks with US counterpart Blinken in London

·2-min read

New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) In their first in-person meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday deliberated on ways to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, situation in Indo-Pacific and issues relating to climate change.

Jaishankar and Blinken held the talks in London on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers' meeting.

In a series of tweets, Jaishankar said he conveyed to Blinken appreciation for the support extended by the US to India in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

'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,' he tweeted.

The external affairs minister said the meeting also covered issues relating to Indo-Pacific, climate change and UN Security Council.

'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 said.

Sources here said Jaiishankar and Blinken held in-depth discussion on the COVID-19 challenge and the immediate requirements of India.

Blinken assured Jaiishankar that the US was monitoring developments closely and would respond positively to any Indian requirements.

Sources said the next shipment of medical supplies from the US is landing in India soon.

It was also conveyed to Jaiishankar that the supply of oxygen and related equipment to India will continue to be key priority of the US, the sources said.

The US has also acted on India's request for supply of more Remdesivir drug, they added.

The sources said Jaiishankar and Blinken also discussed how greater Indian vaccine production can address both India's own needs and the requirement of global public health.

They said India and the US will collaborate bilaterally, in Quad format and through multilateral initiatives.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Indo- Pacific strategic landscape.

'Conversation brought out the convergence of interests. Ministers reviewed the progress in practical cooperation in recent months,' said a source.

The conversation covered the agenda before the UNSC and other multilateral organisations, the sources said. PTI MPB TIR TIR