US secretary of state Antony Blinken expected to visit India next week | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: US secretary of state Antony Blinken is expected to make his maiden trip to India next week since assuming charge. According to sources quoted by ANI, it is learnt that preparations for the high-level visit are currently underway.
Blinken is expected to hold bilateral talks with external affairs minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi. The two officials have met thrice in the past one year, the most recent being when Jaishankar visited the US back in May.
During his five-day visit, Jaishankar discussed a range of issues which included regional security challenges apart from the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). Blinken will become the second Biden administration official to visit India after US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
The Covid-19 situation and vaccines, the situation in Afghanistan, as well as China are expected to be on the agenda during Blinken’s trip.
Earlier this year, the US had lent a helping hand to India when the latter was struck by the deadly second wave of Covid-19. The Biden administration had intervened to expedite procurement of raw materials for Indian vaccine makers. It had also sent ventilators along with other equipment to counter the virus.
Although there is no official word on the schedule from either side, it is believed that an announcement may happen soon.

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