US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in India on July 27. During the two-day visit, he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval.
This is Blinken’s first visit to India after assuming office.
During the meetings, while the United States will look at expanding security, defence, counter-terrorism and cyber cooperation, India is likely to seek a gradual resumption of international travel and ways to augment trade and investment.
Meera Shankar, former Indian envoy to the US said, one of the most important subjects that the two sides may discuss is the situation in Afghanistan post the withdrawal of US troops as that is something of serious concern to India.
“With the Taliban running violently across the country and as of now the peace talks are going nowhere, so for India I think it would be important to know what kind of role the US will play to continue to support the Afghan government once their troops are no longer there,” she said.
Shankar added that Afghan’s security forces, particularly the army, would need continued financial support and technical support to be able to at least prevent a Taliban roll over of Afghanistan.
Speaking about COVID-19 vaccination, she said, “There is a question of how to take forward the Quad engagement in the Indo-Pacific including what the countries can do with regards to the pandemic and rolling out vaccinations in a coordinated way. I am sure that the countries would like to actually consider the steps by which they could revive that production and get that program rolling again.”
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video…