External Affairs Minister Jaishankar speaks to US Secretary of State Blinken

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New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday spoke to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, covering recent developments in India's immediate and extended neighbourhood.

In the conversation, Jaishankar and Blinken also discussed issues relating to cooperation in the area of health as well as exchanged views on the agenda of the UN Security Council.

'Spoke to my US counterpart Secretary of State @SecBlinken this evening. Conversation covered recent developments in India's immediate and extended neighbourhood. Exchanged views on the UNSC agenda. Also discussed issues pertaining to our health cooperation,' Jaishankar tweeted.

It is understood that the evolving situation in Afghanistan following the US announcement of withdrawal of its troops from the war-ravaged country figured in the talks.

In a significant announcement, President Joe Biden on Wednesday said American troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11 that would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the US in 2001.

Jaishankar and Blinken are also learnt to have discussed the coronavirus pandemic and ways to deal with it.

The conversation between the two foreign ministers came just three days ahead of President Biden's virtual summit with several world leaders.

The US President has invited 40 world leaders including Prime Minister Modi to the virtual summit on the climate crisis on April 22 and 23. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin were among the key leaders invited to the conference. PTI MPB NSD