India-US talks: Sherman-Shringla talks in Delhi focus on S-400, Afghanistan and China

By: |
October 07, 2021 4:08 PM

During the talks, the visiting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman took a tough stand over the system India will soon be receiving from Russia.

MEA ShringlaMs Sherman also met with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. (Twitter/MEA)

India and the US had major issues including the S-400 air defence system from Russia, the situation in Afghanistan and China and Pakistan were discussed when leaders from the two sides met in New Delhi. During the talks between Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and the visiting US Deputy Secretary of state Wendy Sherman. Chinese growing aggression, Afghanistan and Taliban, terrorism were among the key issues that were on the table. This was the first high-level visit soon after the recently concluded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.

The visit of Ms Sherman marks the start of more sectoral meetings between two countries. In the coming weeks some important meetings between the two countries are scheduled to take place and this includes the meeting of the Defence Policy Group (the Indian Defence Secretary will be leaving for the US for this meeting), the Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue (Finance minister of India is expected to lead an official delegation to the US soon), the Trade Policy Forums, and the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue expected to take place in November/December.

China
This was discussed, and New Delhi shared its assessments especially on the developments along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. The US side talked about the talks in Geneva and about its policy towards China – the 3 Cs – Challenge, Cooperate and Compete.

Vaccines
There were talks about the South Africa proposal on patent waiver for the COVID vaccine to be raised at WTO and the US reiterated its support.

India-US talks S-400 Air Defence System
During the talks, the visiting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman took a tough stand over the system India will soon be receiving from Russia. This system will help in strengthening the Indian Air Force’s air defence capabilities. The first unit is expected to arrive later next month.

Ms Sherman stated that the system was dangerous and it was not in anybody’s security interests.

Her comments come close on the heels of the new IAF Chief VR Chaudhuri’s comments earlier this week that the S-400’s delivery of the first unit will be made as per the schedule.

Focus on Afghanistan and Terrorism
The two sides have reiterated that they will work together on suggesting actions to be taken against the terrorists.

Also on during the talks Pakistan’s support to terrorism was discussed and India besides highlighting the growing role of ISI in the formation of Taliban government in Kabul, it also expressed concerns over the movement of terror groups from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

On the issue of legitimizing the Taliban Ms Sherman, according to sources, stated that the current dispensation in the country had to show a more inclusive government that would protect and represent children, women and minorities and easy movement of people.

According to Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla , “In view of the fast-paced developments in South Asia, especially in Afghanistan, both India and the US will stay closely engaged not only on the future of Afghanistan, also on how the two can help in maintaining stability and peace in South Asia, and beyond,”

Bilateral India-US Relations
Shringla and Sherman talks in New Delhi on Wednesday focused on wide ranging issues in an effort to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

In his address at the US-India Business Council (USIBC) summit, the Indian foreign secretary stated that the relationship between the two countries in the coming years is poised to reach greater heights.

“The relationship with the US is of paramount importance to India. It will ensure a peaceful and prosperous world and a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”.

The two countries have nearly 75 years of partnership, remarked Ms Sherman.

“During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington DC, all aspects of our relationship were on display. This included job creation, vaccine production, defence and security, public health and bilateral trade,” said Shringla.

In her address at the joint US-India Business Council (USIBC) Ms Sherman talked about building a strong network of Indo-Pacific partnerships and alliances. “We have a shared interest. And they are based on the international rules-based order.”

Ms Sherman also met with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

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