New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who is on his two-day visit to India, on Wednesday met with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and discussed the bilateral relations between the countries. The top US diplomat, who landed in New Delhi on Tuesday, discussed wide-ranging issues with Indian officials including vaccine cooperation, Afghanistan, and the Indo-Pacific region.

"I deeply appreciate the work that we have been able to do together and the work that we are going to do together in coming months", said Blinken during the meet with Jaishankar. EAM Jaishankar and Blinken are slated to hold a joint press conference at 2:30 pm.

"There isn't a challenge that doesn't have an impact on lives of our citizens whether it's COVID, disruptive impact of emerging technologies, that can be addressed by any one of us acting alone. There's greater imperative on cooperation among countries than ever before", the top US Diplomat further said, adding that "US President Joe Biden is determined to continue to grow the stronger relationship between India and the US".

Blinken is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later today. He also met National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and held discussions on a range of bilateral and regional issues including the security situation in Afghanistan. Earlier today, Blinken participated in a meeting of representatives of civil society organisations in the national capital.

"I was pleased to meet civil society leaders today. The US and India share a commitment to democratic values; this is part of the bedrock of our relationship and reflective of India's pluralistic society and history of harmony. Civil society helps advance these values," he tweeted.

Blinken arrived here on Tuesday evening on a two-day visit with an extensive agenda featuring the rapidly evolving security situation in Afghanistan, boosting Indo-Pacific engagement and ways to enhance COVID-19 response efforts among others. It is Blinken's first visit to India after assuming charge as the US Secretary of State and the third by a high-ranking Biden administration official after it came to power in January.

India and the US will also discuss health collaboration to combat COVID-19, including the Quad vaccine partnership that was first announced during President Biden's Quad summit. Both sides will review the multifaceted India-US bilateral relations and the potential for consolidating them further.

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan