Jaishankar meets his counterparts from US, other countries; discusses bilateral issues, COVID-19

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Updated: June 30, 2021 10:37 AM

Jaishankar, who arrived in Italy from Greece on the second leg of this two-nation tour on Monday, met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and discussed the Indo-Pacific and the Afghan situation.

s jaishankarIndia is expected to hold the presidency of the G20 in 2022. (Photo source: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar)

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met his counterparts from the US, Britain, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Mexico, France, Spain, Singapore and the EU on the sidelines of the G20 ministerial meetings here and discussed with them the COVID-19 situation and global as well as regional issues of mutual interests. Jaishankar, who arrived in Italy from Greece on the second leg of this two-nation tour on Monday, met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and discussed the Indo-Pacific and the Afghan situation.

“Good to see US Secretary of State @SecBlinken in Matera. Discussed the Indo-Pacific and the Afghan situation,” Jaishankar tweeted. US President Joe Biden has announced that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year to end the country’s longest war. Following suit, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) said it will also pull out its troops from Afghanistan. India, a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan, has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled. Jaishankar also held talks with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian and discussed strategic convergence between the two countries.

“A productive meeting with FM @JY_LeDrian of France. Assessed the progress in our broad-based agenda. Also discussed our strategic convergence. Confident we shall see a steady growth of this relationship,” he tweeted, sharing a photograph of the meeting. Describing Singaporean finance minister Vivian Balakrishnan as his “friend”, Jaishankar said he had a “warm meeting” with him. “Contemporary challenges call for an even stronger partnership. Committed to exploring new opportunities and setting higher goals,” he tweeted, along with a photograph in which the two leaders are seen exchanging ‘namaste’ greetings.

During his meeting with Spanish foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez, Jaishankar appreciated the strengthening ties between the two countries and Spain’s support in India’s EU engagement. “Look forward to welcoming her in India,” Jaishankar tweeted. Earlier in the day, Jaishankar met British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and the two leaders reviewed the progress in bilateral ties and discussed global and regional issues.

“Met UK Foreign Secretary @DominicRaab this morning. Reviewed the progress of our bilateral Road Map. Discussed the state of the world, regional issues, Covid and Climate Action,” Jaishankar said in a series of tweets.

The external affairs minister met his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio and congratulated him on the ‘successful G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Italy’. “Discussed taking forward our bilateral relationship. Look forward to seeing him in India,” Jaishankar said in another tweet. He also met his Mexican counterpart Marcelo Ebrard C and agreed to step up bilateral cooperation and work together in the multilateral arena. “Our pharma cooperation is particularly important in the times of Covid’? Jaishankar said. He met Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and exchanged views on Quad, 2+2 and Covid. “A typical #G20 conversation – with FM @moteging of Japan. Spoke about Quad, 2+2 and Covid,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The Quad or Quadrilateral alliance consisting of the US, India, Japan and Australia has been resolving to uphold a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific amid growing Chinese assertiveness in the region. The minister also held a cordial meeting with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan during which he discussed the Covid situation and urged early resumption of flights. “Cordial meeting with Saudi FM @FaisalbinFarhan. Discussed the Covid situation and urged early flight resumption. Talks also covered our Strategic Partnership and regional situation,” he tweeted.

Jaishankar later met Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau and discussed issues of bilateral concerns. “Useful conversation with FM @MarcGarneau of Canada on Indo-Pacific, trade & economic cooperation and bilateral concerns. Agreed to remain in touch,” he tweeted.

The external affairs minister also met with Josep Borrell Fontelles, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission. “Taking forward the agenda of the Leaders’ Summit. Discussed vaccine production and access. Took up ‘Covishield’ authorisation for travel to Europe. Will be following up,” he said after the meeting.

The G20 summit is scheduled to be held in Italy in October. India is expected to hold the presidency of the G20 in 2022. The G20 is an influential bloc that brings together the world’s major economies.

The G20 member countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

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