Washington/New Delhi | Jagran World Desk: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit India next week, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday. Blinken will be the second Biden administration official to visit India this year.

Earlier, United States Secretary of Defense, General (retd) Lloyd J. Austin had visited New Delhi to hold talks with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. General (retd) Austin also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit.

Blinken will hold talks with India's External Affairs Minister Jaishankar. As per a report by WION, both Blinken and 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 likely to focus on the current situation in Afghanistan in the wake of territorial advances made by Afghan Taliban andQuad. Biden administration is reportedly looking for the ways to host a Quad (the strategic grouping of India, US, Australia, and Japan) physical summit later this year. Indian PM Modi, depending on the current Covid situation will visit Washington. 

In April 2021, as the second wave of COVID-19 smashed across the nation, Anthony Blinken was instrumental in deploying additional support towards India, to held Narendra Modi-nation deal with the pandemic. 

In the wake of situation in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had met the US Deputy NSA Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and US Specil Representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad last week in Uzbekistan on the sidelines of a connectivity summit. The summit saw heated exchanged between Afghanistan and Pakistan in which the former alleged Pakistan to be supporting the Taliban tactically, by pushing the fighters into Afghanistan in the wake of heightened conflict in the Afghan nation.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma