External affairs minister S Jaishankar.(Reuters)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar.(Reuters)

Jaishankar arrives in Washington DC, to meet defence secretary Lloyd Austin

  • Jaishankar arrived in the US on May 24 and the visit will continue till May 28. This is the first visit by any senior Indian minister to the US since President Biden took over the office in January.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Shivani Kumar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2021 07:09 AM IST

External affairs minister S Jaishankar, who is currently on a visit to the United States, arrived in Washington DC on Wednesday for a series of meetings with key officials of the Biden administration including secretary of state Antony Blinken.

During the three days stay in Washington DC, Jaishankar will also meet his American counterpart, defense secretary Lloyd Austin, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, along with other key members of the Biden administration. According to a report by ANI, the discussion between the ministers will focus on the progress made in the bilateral relations in the first 100 days of the Joe Biden-led government. The discussions will also lay the groundwork for the rest of the term of US President Joe Biden.

However, the timing for a meeting between Blinken and Jaishankar has not been announced as of yet, as the US State Secretary is travelling in the Middle East to continue with the peace process in the wake of the Israel-Palestine conflict. "The secretary is meeting with the external affairs minister, will continue discussions that the two held in New Delhi in March and will continue the robust bilateral defence and security relationship between our two countries. We are looking forward to having him here at the Pentagon and hosting him for a good set of talks," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby informed in a press conference.

Jaishankar arrived in the US on May 24 and the visit will continue till May 28. This is the first visit by any senior Indian minister to the US since President Biden took over the office in January.

Before arriving in Washington, the foreign minister was in New York, where he met senior United States officials and discussed Covid-related cooperation between the two countries.

On May 26, Jaishankar also met United Nations' secretary-general, Antonio Guterres. During the meeting, Jaishankar stressed the need for finding “urgent and effective” global vaccine solutions and called for “greater production” and “fairer distribution.”

Later in the day, Jaishankar also held a discussion with US National Security Advisor General (retd) HR McMaster. During the discussion, Jaishankar said that there is a real appreciation of the potential of the India-US relationship and what it can do.

Emphasising that he has a "big agenda" for the US-India relationship going forward, Jaishankar said, "I think our relationship has come a long way. It's today one of the major relationships in the world and my own sense is that in Washington today, there is a real appreciation of the potential of this relationship, what it can do. And it's true of New Delhi as well".

(With agency inputs)

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