India distinguished ally, Blinken dials EAM

Washington, January 30

Secretary of State Tony Blinken has underscored India’s role as a pre-eminent US partner in the Indo-Pacific during his maiden telephonic conversation with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and discussed ways to better seize the new opportunities and combat shared challenges in the region and beyond.

It was Blinken’s first telephonic conversation with Jaishankar after he assumed the charge as US top diplomat early this week.

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They discussed issues of mutual concern, including Covid-19 vaccination efforts, regional developments and next steps in expanding bilateral ties, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Friday.

Blinken underscored the importance of working together to expand regional cooperation, including through the Quad, Price said.

“I was delighted to speak today with my good friend @DrSJaishankar to discuss US-India priorities,” Blinken wrote on Twitter.

In New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry said Jaishankar and Blinken expressed their commitment to consolidate and expand the multi-faceted strategic partnership.

“They appreciated the robust defence and security ties, growing economic engagement, productive healthcare collaboration and strong people-to-people linkages as its important pillars,” it said.

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