Washington. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday and discussed bilateral relations as well as the situation in Afghanistan. Shringla, who arrived in Washington on Wednesday to hold a meeting with senior officials of US President Joe Biden’s administration, also met Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R Sherman.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted, ‘Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla met US Secretary of State Blinken. Discussions took place on bilateral relations and the situation in Afghanistan. During the meeting with Sherman, the Foreign Secretary held important discussions on advancing the India-US strategic partnership in areas including healthcare, defense and security, trade and investment, science and technology, climate change and clean energy, among others.
Bagchi said, ‘He also reviewed the situation of the Kovid-19 epidemic apart from Afghanistan, the Indo-Pacific region. Also discussed about cooperation on the United Nations and other regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
Shringla is one of the selected foreign officials
Shringla is among the few foreign officials who have arrived to meet top officials of the Biden administration after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. When asked about the meeting with the visiting Indian diplomat, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters, “We will keep you updated about the scheduled meeting from time to time.”
Shringla arrived in Washington from New York, where he chaired an important meeting of the UN Security Council on Afghanistan. India was the chairman of the 15-member powerful wing of the United Nations for August. No other details were immediately available about their meetings in the US capital. However, the issue of Afghanistan and the upcoming Quad summit is likely to top the talks between Indian and US officials.
The four countries in the quad include Australia, India, Japan and the US. President Joe Biden has made the Quad a top priority and has announced to hold a direct Quad summit this year.