US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )
Blinken will hold talks with India's External Affairs Minister Jaishankar
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit India next week, becoming the second Biden administration official to visit Delhi this year. United States Secretary of Defense, General (Retd.) Lloyd J. Austin visited New Delhi earlier this year and held talks with his counterpart and called on top Indian leadership including PM Modi.
Blinken will hold talks with India's External Affairs Minister Jaishankar. Both Blinken, Jaishankar have met each other three times previously - first on the sidelines of the G7 foreign minister meet in London, then during EAM's bilateral visit to the US, and then on the sidelines of the G20 FMs meet in Italy.
The visit is expected to focus on the current situation in Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific, Quad. Biden administration is keen to host Quad (the grouping of India, US, Australia, and Japan) in-person leadership meet later this year. Indian PM Modi, depending on the current Covid situation will visit Washington.
But undoubtedly, the situation in Afghanistan remains a worry as Taliban makes territorial gains. Both sides have been in touch on the issue. In fact, India's External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had met Dy NSA Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and US Spl Representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad last week in Uzbekistan on the sidelines of the connectivity summit.