Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla called on United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday during which they discussed bilateral ties, regional and global issues including the current situation in Afghanistan.
This was the first high-level discussion between the officials of the two countries after the American withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan on August 31.
“Discussions touched on bilateral ties and the situation in Afghanistan,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet after the meeting.
Shringla, who arrived here a day earlier from New York, had a series of meetings throughout Thursday, including with his American counterpart Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman.
“Excellent interaction this morning” with Blinken and Sherman, tweeted India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who attended the meetings along with Shringla at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.
Shringla and Sherman discussed a broad range of shared priorities, including continued coordination on Afghanistan, strengthening Indo-Pacific cooperation through the Quad, addressing the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, and preparations for upcoming dialogues, such as the 2+2 Ministerial, said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price.
The two diplomats agreed to remain closely coordinated on shared goals and priorities to deepen the US-India partnership, Price said in a readout of the meeting.
“The US-India relationship is defined by our shared democratic values. I look forward to continuing to coordinate closely on global challenges,” tweeted Uzra Zeya, Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, after the meeting.
Taking to Twitter, Sherman said, “I met with Indian Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla to discuss shared priorities including coordination on Afghanistan, strengthening Indo-Pacific cooperation via the Quad, and addressing the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Responding to Sherman’s tweet, Shringla thanked the US deputy secretary of state for engaging on issues of mutual importance. “Thank you for the opportunity to engage so extensively on issues of mutual importance,” Shringla tweeted.
Earlier, Shringla also called on US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and held discussions on bilateral ties and the situation in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, India and the US also held a bilateral 2+2 Inter-sessional meeting in Washington DC and exchanged assessments on developments in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and the western Indian Ocean.
Both sides reviewed the progress made since the last 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in October 2020 and preparations for the forthcoming dialogue later this year.
“The two sides took stock of the progress and developments in the bilateral agenda under the India-US strategic partnership, including defence, global public health, economic and commercial cooperation, science and technology, clean energy and climate finance, and people to people ties,” a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed.