S Jaishankar meets US Congress delegation as bilateral engagement reaches new level

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External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar (C) with US Congress delegation led by Senator John Cornyn poses for a group photo, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi sees Indo-Pacific as a free, open and inclusive region, the minister said it should embrace all in the common pursuit of progress and prosperity

Our Bureau
New Delhi

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Friday met the US Congress delegation in New Delhi and exchanged views on bilateral cooperation and regional issues, including Indo-Pacific and Afghanistan.

The US delegation in India is led by Senator John Cornyn. “Pleased to meet US Congress Delegation led by Sen @JohnCornyn today in New Delhi. A productive exchange of views on bilateral cooperation and regional issues, including Indo-Pacific and Afghanistan,” EAM Jaishankar tweeted.

This meeting comes at a time when India is holding discussions with its partner countries over the security situation arising out of the Taliban’s take-over of Afghanistan. Last month, US Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, during her India visit had reaffirmed strong ties with New Delhi.

Underscoring the importance of the bilateral partnership, Sherman had said the ties between India and United States is rooted in the shared values of the two countries and both are believers in the free, open, and resilient Indo-Pacific region.

Taking to Twitter, the Jaishankar also informed that he chaired a meeting of the Consultative Committee for External Affairs. Jaishankar said he undertook useful discussions on the growing salience of the Indo-Pacific and related aspects of our foreign policy. The minister also appreciated the participation of many members and welcomed their inputs and suggestions.

“Chaired a meeting of the Consultative Committee for External Affairs. Useful discussions on the growing salience of the Indo-Pacific and related aspects of our foreign policy. Appreciate the participation of many members and welcome their inputs and suggestions,” he said in a subsequent tweet.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi (ANI Photo)

Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had met S Jaishankar on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Rome and discussed a range of issues, including efforts to strengthen Indo-Pacific cooperation through the Quad. “I met with @DrSJaishankar to discuss efforts to strengthen Indo-Pacific cooperation bilaterally and through the Quad. I look forward to working together to deepen the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership,” Blinken tweeted.

In a statement, Ned Price, US State Department spokesperson stated, “Blinken and Jaishankar discussed a range of issues, including efforts to strengthen Indo-Pacific cooperation through the Quad and expand cooperation on common regional priorities.”

Blinken and Jaishankar also discussed cooperation on expanding global access to COVID-19 vaccines, elevating climate ambition at COP26, and reinforcing their mutual commitments to and support for shared democratic values, read the statement.

The theme of this G20 meet under the Italian Presidency is centered around ‘People, Planet and Prosperity.’

Emphasizing that the world needs additional engines of growth as well as networking to support the democratization of the global economy, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that India takes opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific very seriously.

While speaking virtually at the Fourth Edition of the Indo-Pacific Forum — which is jointly hosted by India and the US — Jaishankar said the Indo-Pacific reflects the reality of globalization. “Whether it is in terms of initiatives or solutions, you may be assured that India takes the opportunities and challenges of the Indo-Pacific very seriously,” he added.

He said that New Delhi’s efforts could be seen in the Indo-Pacific Ocean initiative or indeed in the vaccine collaboration undertaken through the quad format.

Underlining that it is the second such event this year, he said that the event reflects the importance accorded to the Indo-Pacific region and the potential and opportunities that the region offers.

“Today, Indo-Pacific reflects the reality of globalization, the emergence of the multi-polarity, and the benefits of rebalancing,” Jaishankar emphasized.

Emphasizing that India believes that “common prosperity and security” require us to evolve through dialogue and a common rules-based order for the region, the minister said that to advance these objectives India is pleased to co-host the fourth edition of the Indo-Pacific business borough

Stressing that New Delhi sees Indo-Pacific as a free, open and inclusive region, the minister said it should embrace all in the common pursuit of progress and prosperity.

The minister further emphasized that such an order must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity, international law, as well as equality of all nations. “It envisages that the country should have access to the use of common spaces on the sea in the air that would require freedom of navigation, overflights, unimpeded commerce and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law,” said Jaishankar.

Highlighting that India’s approach is based on cooperation and collaboration, given the need for shared responses to shared challenges in the region, he said that the world is also moving towards greater economic diversification and political multi-polarity.

The minister pointed out that the COVID-19 has given a much sharper impetus to those trends.

“The experience of the pandemic has broadened the understanding of national security for most. It has taught us the importance of resilient and reliable supply chains just as it has cautioned us against concentrated production. Whether it is vocal for local or make in India, the thinking today in our country has focused on shorter supply chains and more decentralized globalization,” said the minister.

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