Washington: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday (local time) met with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan wherein they held an hour-long meeting discussing wide-ranging issues including the Indo-Pacific and Afghanistan in Washington.
“Pleased to meet NSA @JakeSullivan46. Wide-ranging discussions including on Indo-Pacific and Afghanistan. Conveyed appreciation for US solidarity in addressing the Covid challenge. India-US vaccine partnership can make a real difference,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Jaishankar was accompanied by India`s envoy to the US Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu as the External Affairs Minister commenced the second leg of his US visit. He also met with US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, as part of his five-day US visit, the first official trip since President Joe Biden took office in January.
Jaishankar and Tai discussed the issues around the proposal by India to suspend the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement to help them produce vaccines to fight COVID-19.
“Our trade, technology & business cooperation are at the core of our strategic partnership. Enhancing them is vital to post-Covid economic recovery. Welcomed her positive stance on IPR issues & support for efficient & robust supply chains,” the minister said.
Early this month, Tai, after consultations with various stakeholders, had announced support to the move of India and South Africa to waive certain IP aspects of COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organization (WTO). This step is likely to help in a big way in the fight against the pandemic.
Jaishankar meets US lawmakers, discusses Quad, co-op on vaccines
The External Affairs Minister met influential American lawmakers from both the Democratic and Republican parties on Thursday and discussed developments pertaining to Quad and the cooperation on vaccines with them.
“Discussed developments pertaining to Quad and our cooperation on vaccines. Recognise their leadership in building stronger ties,” Jaishankar said after his meeting with Congressman Gregory Meeks, who is the chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with its ranking member, Congressman Michael McCaul.
The minister also had a “good conversation” with the co-chairs of the House India Caucus, Congressman Brad Sherman from the Democratic Party and Congressman Steve Chabot from the Republican Party. “The US Congress has been a tremendous pillar of support as India meets the Covid challenge,” Jaishankar tweeted.
All four US lawmakers have been strong advocates of the India-US relationship. In a tweet, Sherman said he learned how India is fighting COVID-19 and working to disentangle its economy from China.
A day earlier, after introducing the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act, Congressman Meeks appreciated the Biden administration’s initiative towards India.
Jaishankar arrived in the US on May 24 and is slated to visit many senior officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during his stay till May 28. The EAM is also scheduled to meet US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary Anthony Blinken, high-level officials from the Department of Homeland Security, USAID, Department of Energy and National Science a foundation.
(With ANI/PTI Inputs)