In 'Warm, Comprehensive' Meeting with UN Chief, Jaishankar Discusses Regional Challenges, Myanmar

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In a “comprehensive” meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday discussed issues related to the challenges in India’s neighbourhood, counter-terrorism, Myanmar as well as New Delhi’s priorities when it assumes Presidency of the Security Council in August. In his first face-to-face interaction with the UN chief since India entered the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member in January this year, Jaishankar also said that the countering terrorism and radicalisation remain priorities for the entire region.

“A warm & comprehensive meeting with UN Secretary General @antonioguterres,” Jaishankar said in a series of tweets after the meeting that lasted almost an hour. Jaishankar said he also exchanged views on climate action. “Greater resources are essential for larger ambitions. Financing will determine our seriousness and credibility,” he said.

He highlighted India’s constructive role in UNSC and conveyed priorities of the country’s Presidency in August. “Maritime Security and Technology for Peacekeeping address the needs of the day,” he said. “Deliberated on regional challenges in India’s neighbourhood. Shared our concerns about ensuring that the gains of the last two decades in Afghanistan are adequately protected, Jaishankar said.

The Taliban and the Afghan government are holding direct talks to end 19 years of war that has killed tens of thousands of people and ravaged various parts of the country. India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It has already invested USD two billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the country.

India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled. “Countering terrorism and radicalisation remain priorities for the entire region. Also, discussed recent developments in Myanmar. India values UNSG’s leadership of the UN, especially in these challenging times. Conveyed our support for his candidature for a second term,” Jaishankar added.

India has condemned the use of violence in Myanmar and said it is cognisant of the serious impact of its political instability and the potential of its spill over beyond borders as it called for a “greater engagement” by the world. Myanmar shares an over 1,600 km long unfenced and porous land border with India as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. During the meeting, Jaishankar was accompanied by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti and Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador K. Nagaraj Naidu as he arrived at the UN Headquarters Tuesday morning to meet the UN chief.

Jaishankar arrived in New York Sunday evening on his first visit to the US after India entered the UN Security Council. India will assume Presidency of the Council in August. From New York, Jaishankar will travel to Washington Wednesday where he is expected to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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