Monday, December 5, 2022

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Jaishankar meets Antony Binken, discusses bilateral relations

New Delhi: Days before a potential meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and India’s Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar met in Phnom Penh on Sunday to discuss bilateral relations, the ongoing war in Ukraine, energy concerns, the G20, and the situation in the Indo-Pacific.

The summit of ASEAN and India was concurrent with a conference of the two nations’ top diplomats in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, who is leading the Indian team to the 17th East Asia Summit and the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in Phnom Penh, is accompanied by Jaishankar.

On the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, which will take place in Bali, Indonesia from November 15–16, Jaishankar and Blinken met. This was days before a potential bilateral between Prime Minister Modi and President Biden.

“A good meeting with US Secretary of State @SecBlinken. Discussed Ukraine, Indo-Pacific, energy, G20 and bilateral relations,” Jaishankar said in a tweet, indicating the topics he discussed with Blinken.

“I met Indian External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar on the margins of the @ASEAN summit today in Phnom Penh to discuss ongoing efforts to expand our partnership & mitigate the effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine. The U.S. supports India’s #G20 Presidency,” Blinken tweeted.

Following talks with Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday and a meeting with Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday, Jaishankar met with Blinken.

President Biden and Prime Minister Modi, according to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, have a positive and helpful working relationship.

President Biden was anticipating meeting Prime Minister Modi outside the Bali G-20 summit, according to Sullivan.

“I would point out Prime Minister Modi has already been to the White House since President Biden took office, and the two of them have had the opportunity to meet in person multiple times and to talk by phone and on video multiple times,” he told reporters at the White House on Thursday.

According to him, the two presidents share similar views on a number of crucial topics and have actively cooperated to advance the US-India relationship.

“When you add all that up, it is a productive, very practical relationship,” Sullivan said.

“President Biden is looking forward to seeing Prime Minister Modi at the G20 this year, as we look ahead to the next year,” he said. The US president might travel to India while India holds the G20 presidency in the upcoming year.

India has not yet denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has insisted that diplomacy and communication are the only ways to find a solution to the problem. Prime Minister Modi has had numerous conversations with both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin since the war in Ukraine erupted in February.

On October 4, Modi told Zelenskyy over the phone that there is “no military answer” and that India is prepared to support any diplomatic initiatives. On September 16, at their private meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Modi informed Putin that “the present era is not one of conflict.”

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