Afghanistan situation, Pakistan terror financing to feature at talks during Blinken visit
The implications of the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan on terror financing and safe havens will be part of the agenda of talks during US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's two-day maiden India visit beginning July 27, official sources said on Sunday.
The discussions will also focus on deepening engagement under the framework of the Quad with the possibility of a foreign ministerial meeting of the grouping expected to take place later this year, the sources said.
Both sides will also take forward the Quad vaccine initiative to enable the supply of vaccines produced in India from early 2022 to countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
The sources said the visit will be an opportunity to further consolidate bilateral cooperation across a vast agenda and the areas of focus will be trade and investment, healthcare, education, digital domain, innovation and security.
It will be Blinken's first visit to India after assuming charge as the US Secretary of State and the second by a high-ranking Biden administration official since it came to power in January
In the defence domain, both sides are expected to explore ways to deepen collaboration, the sources said.
India will also press for gradual resumption of international travel while maintaining health protocols, especially for easing the mobility of students, professionals, business travellers and for ensuring family reunions, besides humanitarian cases, they said.
"The need for resilient supply chains of critical medicines and healthcare equipment is likely to come up," said a source.
The two sides will exchange assessments about Indo-Pacific with a focus on Covid assistance, economic slowdown and security scenario, the sources said.
On vaccines, India will continue to push for ensuring open and consistent supply chains for materials and items required for vaccine production as India ramps up the manufacturing for domestic and global supplies thereafter.