Strongest ever…: Antony Blinken on India-US bilateral ties

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar kicked off the fifth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi, hailing the partnership between the two countries as the “strongest ever.” Blinken said that he was delighted to be in India, where he had a remarkable year of engagement with his Indian counterpart.

He said that the two countries had not only the strongest bilateral partnership they ever had, but also a regional and a global one, as shown by India’s leadership for the G20 this year. He said that the two countries had a lot to do, especially with their defence colleagues. He said that this was a proof of their resolute focus on the Indo-Pacific, the region of the future. He said that the future was already here, and that they were building it together with India.

Jaishankar welcomed Blinken, who was on his third visit to India this year. He said that this visit had a special significance, as it was a follow up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June visit and President Joe Biden’s September visit to the US.

He said that this was a 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, which meant that they would take a broader view of what they were doing. Jaishankar also mentioned the G20 Summit that was held under India’s chairmanship in September at Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi. He thanked Blinken, the US government and President Biden on behalf of Prime Minister Modi, for their strong support that helped India achieve the consensus and the outcomes at the summit.

He said that it was important to acknowledge that. Jaishankar said that they would take a wider view of what the two countries were doing in terms of bilateral partnership. He said that as QUAD members, they would discuss the Indo-Pacific, and also the global and regional issues, such as the situation in West Asia and the Middle East, which was a big concern at the moment.