New Delhi, Nov 10: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held “an open and productive discussion” with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken here on Friday on strengthening strategic New Delhi-Washington ties, the fallout of the raging Israel-Hamas war and regional issues including the geopolitical situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The meeting took place ahead of the fifth edition of the India-US 2+2 Defence and Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue .
“Pleased to meet with Secretary of State @SecBlinken this morning. An open and productive conversation on further developing our strategic partnership,” Jaishankar posted on X.
"This visit has a particular significance because we need to follow up on PM Modi's June visit and President Biden's September visit. This is a 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, so we take a broader view of what we are doing."
The Minister said that he also spoke about West Asia, Indo-Pacific and other regional issues.
He underscored the comprehensive nature of the discussions, particularly the Indo-Pacific as members of the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) and ongoing conflict in West Asia, calling it a “big concern”.
India is part of the Quad alliance with the US, Australia and Japan that aims to counter China’s aggressive posturing in the Indo-Pacific region.
"It is always wonderful to be here in India. We are building a remarkable year of engagement. We have not only the strongest bilateral partnership we've ever had, but also a regional one, and indeed, a global one that was further evidenced by India's leadership for the G20 this year," Blinken said after meeting Jaishankar.
"We have a lot to do, including with our defence colleagues. I think it's further evidence of our resolute focus for the US on the Indo-Pacific, our region for the future, the future is actually now, and we're building it together with India," he said.
Jaishankar and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will hold the annual 2+2 India-US talks with Blinken and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin who arrived in Delhi on Thursday.
The two countries are working on deals for the US to supply and manufacture engines for Indian fighter jets, MQ-9 predator drones and semiconductor manufacturing, according to sources.
The talks are expected to build on the discussions that have already taken place in this regard during Modi’s visit to Washington in June and President Joe Biden's trip for the G20 summit in September. (IANS)