Jaishankar and Blinken talk over phone, reaffirm growing US-India ties


PTI, Jan 30, 2021, 8:29 AM IST

Washington: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his American counterpart Tony Blinken have spoken over phone during which the two leaders reaffirmed the growing bilateral partnership.

They discussed issues of mutual concern, including COVID-19 vaccination efforts, regional developments and next steps in expanding bilateral ties, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday.

It was Blinken’s first telephonic conversation with Jaishankar after he assumed the charge of the top American diplomat early this week.

Blinken underscored India’s role as a preeminent US partner in the Indo-Pacific and the importance of working together to expand the regional cooperation, including through the Quad, Price said.

“Both agreed to coordinate closely on global developments and look forward to meeting in person at the earliest opportunity,” Price said in a readout of the call, which was the first communication between them after January 20 when Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.

“I was delighted to speak today with my good friend @DrSJaishankar to discuss U.S.-India priorities. We reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-India relationship and discussed ways we can better seize new opportunities and combat shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” the Secretary of State said on Twitter.

After occupying Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Blinken has spoken to his counterparts from over a dozen countries including Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Israel and South Africa.

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