London/Washington, May 4 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar began his four-day UK visit with a one-on-one meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, thanking him for support in the fight against COVID-19.
Ahead of the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' summit that begins on Tuesday, they also held discussions over issues concerning the Indo-Pacific region, climate change, UN Security Council and Myanmar, according to a tweet by Jaishankar.
The focus of his discussions with Blinken was the American support during India’s COVID challenge, especially the supply of oxygen and the drug, Remdesivir.
'Good to meet in person my old friend Secretary Blinken. Detailed discussion on the global COVID challenge, focusing on expanded vaccine production capacity and reliable supply chains,' Jaishankar said in the Twitter statement.
'Expressed appreciation for the strong US support to India at this difficult time, especially oxygen and Remdesivir,' the minister said.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement issued in Washington that the two leaders reviewed recent efforts in the fight against COVID-19, including US assistance to India, and expressed appreciation for each country’s support throughout the pandemic.
Jaishankar and Blinken discussed 'addressing the COVID-19 challenge and deepening the US-India comprehensive global strategic partnership”, Price said. During the meeting, Blinken reaffirmed India’s important role when it comes to the climate crisis and as a leading partner in the Indo-Pacific, he said.
“They also discussed ways to deepen cooperation in multilateral fora, including at the UN Security Council and as a G7 guest country,” Price said, adding that the two leaders looked forward to continue the US-India cooperation on the full range of bilateral and global issues.
Earlier, Jaishankar described it as a very good meeting.
'Among the many subjects we discussed was first and foremost the strong support we are getting from the United States on dealing with the COVID situation.We are very, very appreciative of that,' he told reporters in a joint appearance with Blinken in London.
'We also discussed how our collaboration could help globally in expanding vaccination capabilities,' he said after their bilateral meeting.
In his brief remarks, Blinken recognised the contribution of India when the United States was facing the COVID-19 crisis.
'We remember so well when India came to our assistance in the early days of COVID in a very important and powerful way,' Blinken said.
'We are joined in this fight together and determined to do everything we can to help,' he added. PTI AK LKJ RDK RDK