Blinken lauds PM's war remark, clears air on F16 sale to Pak in presser with Jaishankar

Updated on Sep 27, 2022 11:08 PM IST

At the presser, external affairs minister S Jaishankar expressed his concerns about the price of oil, adding it is “breaking our back”. "This is our big concern,” he added.

EAM S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken address a joint presser on Tuesday. (ANI)
EAM S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken address a joint presser on Tuesday. (ANI)
By | Written by Sohini Goswami

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday expressed his concerns about the price of oil. He said, “We are a $2,000 per capita economy. The price of oil is breaking our back. This is our big concern.”

Addressing a joint presser with US secretary of state Antony Blinken in Washington, Jaishankar said there is a very deep concern among developing countries about how their energy needs are addressed.

Speaking about the Ukraine war, he said this conflict is not in anybody's interest, adding the best way forward is to return to dialogue and diplomacy.

Blinken then reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that this is not the era of war.

“I really want to emphasise on what PM Modi said. I think he captured, as well as anyone I have heard, fundamentally what this moment is about as he said, this is not an era, the time for war and we could not agree more,” Blinken said.

Also read | After Jaishankar's 'not fooling anybody' jab, US responds on F-16 aid to Pak

He also brought up the issue of the sale of F16s to Pakistan that Jaishankar had criticised a day ago. He said this is a sustained programme for F16s that Pakistan has long had. “These are not new, this is sustaining what they have. We've a responsibility and obligation to whomever we provide military equipment to, that it's maintained and sustained.”

Further, Jaishankar lauded the strong cooperation that India got from the US on tackling international terrorism, in particular, the listing of wanted terrorists.

"I express appreciation at the strong cooperation that we got from the US on tackling international terrorism, in particular, the listing of well-known & wanted terrorists by US sanction process," Jaishankar added.

“India and US have a strong interest in encouraging more resilient and strong supply chains, and this requires policy decisions as well as practical measures involving business communities. We are focused on this.”

"Today, I see the US which is very much open to engaging with India, thinking beyond traditional alliances... QUAD is working very well today, grown remarkably now. For us, today our relationship with the US opens a whole range of possibilities... I am bullish about the relationship," he said.

He further said energy markets under stress must soften up. "We'd judge any situation by how it affects us and other countries global south. There is a very deep concern among developing countries about how their energy needs are addressed or not."

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