Jaishankar holds talks with US Secretary of State Blinken in Munich

They are learnt to have deliberated on various aspects of India-US strategic ties


External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, on Friday, held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken with a focus on key bilateral issues as well as the situation in West Asia, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific.

The meeting took place in Munich on the sidelines of a security conference.

Jaishankar also held separate meetings with European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel.

"Great to meet my friend US @SecBlinken this afternoon on #MSC2024 sidelines. Our talk centered on the situation in West Asia, Ukraine and Indo-Pacific. Reviewed the continuing progress in our bilateral ties," Jaishankar said on X.

Jaishankar and Blinken are learnt to have deliberated on various aspects of India-US strategic ties.

There has been a major upswing in India-US ties in the last few years, especially in the spheres of defence and high-technology.

Over two weeks ago, the Biden administration notified the US Congress on its proposed supply of 31 MQ-9B Predator long endurance drones to India.

The move was seen as significant forward movement to firming up the mega deal that was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Washington in June last year.

The Defence Security Cooperation Agency of the US government delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

The Jaishankar-Blinken talks also came amid some unease between the two sides following Washington's allegations in December that it thwarted an alleged plot hatched by an Indian agent to kill Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil.

The US federal prosecutors charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta of working with an Indian government employee in the foiled plot.

India has already constituted a probe committee to investigate allegations.

The external affairs minister described his talks with his British counterpart Cameron as "good discussion".

"A good discussion on our bilateral cooperation as well as global and regional issues. Also exchanged views on the cricket match underway," he said on X.

The England cricket team is in India for a five-Test series. The two teams are currently playing the third test match in Rajkot.

On his meeting with Borrell, Jaishankar said they exchanged perspectives on the current global situation.

"Delighted to catch-up with EU HRVP @JosepBorrellF in Munich. Exchanged perspectives on the current global situation. Looking forward to welcoming him to India," Jaishankar said in another post on X.

About his talks with Gabriel, who is also Bulgaria's deputy prime minister, Jaishankar said he welcomed that country's decision to join the International Solar Alliance.

"Nice to meet DPM and FM @GabrielMariya of Bulgaria on #MSC2024 sidelines. Discussed our growing bilateral relationship and welcomed Bulgaria's decision to join @isolaralliance. Also exchanged views on the Ukraine conflict," Jaishankar said.


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