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Blinken says US and India united in tackling COVID-19

WION
New Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: May 29, 2021, 09:37 AM IST

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (file photo). Photograph:(Reuters)

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Blinken said the partnership between the United States and India is "vital," "strong" and "increasingly productive"

India and the US on Friday vowed to support each other amid Covid crisis in the second physical meet between Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and US Secretary of state Antony Blinken. Both the foreign minister had met earlier this year in London on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign minister meeting. 

Jaishankar, standing alongside the US Secretary of State said, "our relations have grown strong over the years and I am very confident that it will continue to do so", thanking the US for the "strong support and solidarity at the moment of great difficulty for us". 

Amid the second wave of Covid crisis, US sent assistance which included 20,000 courses of remdesivir, 1,500 oxygen cylinders, 550 mobile oxygen concentrators, over 2.5 million N95 masks and a large-scale deployable oxygen concentration system. Responding to this, Blinken said, "We know, we remember in the earlier days of Covid India was there for the US, something we will never forget, and now we want to make sure that we are there for India"

Last year, India had sent HCQ to US. Both sides have been engaging with each over dealing with the crisis, especially under the Quad grouping of US, India, Australia, and Japan. After the first virtual summit that took place earlier this year, it was decided that more Covid vaccines will be manufactured under the Quad Covid Vaccine initiative. 

Calling EAM, friend and colleague, US Secretary of state said, "US and India are working together on so many of the most important challenges of our time, one those are having a profound impact on the lives of our citizens". He highlighted how both countries are "united" in "confronting covid" & the "challenge posed by climate change" even as they have "partnered directly through the quad, other institutions like the UN" and "partnership between US and India is vital, it is strong and increasingly productive".

EAM Jaishankar is on a week-long visit to US, during which he held talks with the US defense secretary and USTR in Washington and will meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York.