India, US discussing possibility of visit by US Secretary of State Blinken

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New Delhi, Jul 20 (PTI) India and the US are exploring the possibility of a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to India and it may take place as early as next week.

It is learnt that both sides are in the process of finalising the dates and other relevant details of the visit that would be Blinken's first trip to the country as the US Secretary of State.

There was, however, no official comment on such a visit.

It is understood that the focus of the visit would be to prepare grounds for an in-person summit of leaders of the Quad grouping comprising India, Japan, Australia and the US in Washington later this year.

Blinken would be the second high-ranking Biden administration official to visit India since it came to power in January.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin paid a three-day visit to India in March to further boost bilateral defence and security ties.

Austin's visit to India came days after the top leadership of the Quad grouping of India, the US, Japan and Australia vowed to expand their cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region at a virtual summit hosted by President Joe Biden. PTI MPB ZMN

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