US Secretary of State Blinken to visit India on July 27-28

It will be Blinken's first visit to India after assuming charge as the US Secretary of State and the second by a high-ranking official of the Biden administration since it came to power in January

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (File photo)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (File photo)
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PTI

US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken will visit India on July 27 and 28 to discuss a range of issues including recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the situation in Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on Friday.

It will be Blinken's first visit to India after assuming charge as the US Secretary of State and the second by a high-ranking official of the Biden administration since it came to power in January.

"US Secretary of State, Antony J Blinken, will visit India on July 27 and 28," the MEA said.

It said Blinken will meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on July 28.

A statement by the US State Department said Blinken will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The US State Department said Blinken will travel to Kuwait after visiting India and that the two-nation tour is aimed at reaffirming the United States' commitment to strengthening its partnerships.

"Secretary of State Antony J Blinken will travel to New Delhi, India and Kuwait City, Kuwait July 26-29 to reaffirm the United States' commitment to strengthening our partnerships and underscore cooperation on our shared priorities," it said.

"In New Delhi on July 28, Secretary Blinken will meet with External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss a wide range of issues including continued cooperation on COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis," it added.

It is learnt that both sides will also discuss the possibility of holding an in-person summit of leaders of the Quad grouping in Washington later this year.

The US has been looking at convening the in-person summit of the leaders of Quad to boost practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region as well as to send a strong signal about Washington's commitment to the grouping. The Quad comprises India, Japan, Australia and the US.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin had paid a three-day visit to New Delhi in March.

It is expected that the evolving situation in Afghanistan will be a major focus of the discussions between the two sides.

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