Sources said that both sides will explore ways to intensify cooperation in the field of defence. In addition, India will seek a phased resumption of international travel following health protocols, with particular emphasis on easing travel rules for students, professionals and businessmen, and ensuring reconciliation of families, apart from other humanitarian matters. .
He said that India will continue to push for ensuring uninterrupted supply chain of ingredients used in the production of coronavirus vaccine so as to boost domestic production capacity of the vaccine. During the two-day visit, Blinken will meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Blinken will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources said that there will be a discussion between the leaders of India and the US on strengthening cooperation under the draft of the Quad. The Foreign Minister-level meeting of the Quad, a grouping of four countries, is likely to be held later this year. Both sides will also take forward the quad vaccination campaign so that vaccines can be supplied to the countries of the Indo-Pacific region as early as 2022.
He said the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan is also expected to be discussed between the Indian leaders and Blinken as his visit comes at a time when there has been a spike in violence in Afghanistan. In the last few weeks, many terrorist attacks have come to the fore in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of American troops. Sources said that the visit of the US Secretary of State will provide an opportunity to further bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, health care, education, digital sector, innovation and security and other areas.
He said, “The visit of Foreign Minister Blinken is very important for India and during this time India looks forward to taking forward the dialogue with the US on a variety of issues including bilateral, regional, modalities to deal with Kovid and global development.” This is Blinken’s first visit to India after taking charge of the US State Department, as well as the second visit by a top administration official since Joe Biden came to power in January. (agency input)