The United States and India have expressed concern over China’s growing influence in the region and have pledged to deepen ties and expand multilateral security ties between them.
According to AP, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar in New Delhi and agreed to form a regional front against the growing influence of Indo-Pacific China and as well as cooperate regarding the conditions in Afghanistan.
The US leader praised the two countries’ cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus, saying that the partnership for the vaccine was an attempt to end the epidemic.
“There are few relationships in the world that are more important than the relationship between the United States and India. We are the two most important democracies in the world, and our diversity strengthens our national strength,” Blinken told a news conference.
The United States, along with India, has openly expressed its desire to isolate China in the region, and the two countries have agreed to improve military and defense ties by signing a number of agreements.
The United States and India are part of a four-nation alliance that includes Japan and Australia, where they also focus on China’s growing economic and military power, while China has declared that this alliance is conspiring against its growing stability.
Antony Blinken’s visit came on the heels of a recent visit to China by US Ambassador Wendy Sherman.
Blinken said he also discussed regional security issues, including Afghanistan, with Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and called India’s contribution to Afghanistan’s stability “important.”
He said there was no “military solution” to the conflict in Afghanistan and that if the Taliban seized power by force, the country would take the form of a separate state.
“After the withdrawal of coalition forces from the country, we will continue to work together to sustain the achievements of the Afghan people and support regional stability,” he said.
The Indian Foreign Minister said that the world wants to see an independent, free, democratic, and stable Afghanistan living in peace with its neighbors and warned that Afghanistan’s independence and sovereignty is protected from deadly external influences.
India has often expressed concern that the Taliban’s occupation could pose security threats to India.
India has provided operational training and military equipment to the Afghan security forces and provided more than $2 billion in development assistance to Afghanistan.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said that after meeting the foreign minister, Antony Blinken also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss common values and democratic principles, including global epidemics, security, and defense cooperation.
Earlier, during his visit, Blinken told civil society representatives that fundamental freedom and the rule of law are the principles of democracies like the United States and India.
Critics of the extremist Bharatiya Janata Party’s Modi government have accused it of restrictions and introducing policies that discriminate against other minorities, including Muslims, while failing to tackle the epidemic.
But experts say human rights concerns are unlikely to fundamentally affect US-India relations.
The US Secretary of State will visit Kuwait after his visit to India.
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