Home / News / India flags concern over visas, US says ‘largely due to Covid pandemic’

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar said on Tuesday that he flagged India’s concerns on US visas to the Indians in a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. To India’s concerns, the United States said that the issues related to the visas were largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Anthony Blinken also said that the US was aiming to address India’s concerns.

S Jaishankar and Anthony Blinken held a joint press conference on Tuesday and shared what the two countries discussed during a meeting. In a presser, Anthony Blinken said the friendship between the two countries is one of the most consequential in the world.

He said, “Partnership between our countries - India and the US, is one of most consequential in the world. It is vital to address every global challenge that people face," Blinken said, adding, “With India holding the presidency at the UNSC in December and taking over the presidency at G20 next year, will be able to drive more global cooperation and action together."

“No two countries have a greater ability, opportunity and responsibility to try to shape the future," Antony Blinken said.

When India flagged the issues related to visas to Indians, Anthony Blinken said the issues persisted due to the pandemic which started in 2020.

WHAT WAS DISCUSSED?

Jaishankar said that during the meeting, India and the US discussed the political coordination and global challenges.

“In today's meeting, we discussed our political coordination, exchanging assessments on collaborating on important regional issues and global challenges. In this regard, I would specially mention the Ukraine conflict and Indo-Pacific situation," Jaishankar said.

He added, “India and the US have a strong interest in encouraging more resilient and strong supply chains, and this requires policy decisions as well as practical measures involving business communities. We are focused on this."

ON RUSSIA’S WAR IN UKRAINE

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed Tuesday that the West will never recognize Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory after Kremlin-installed authorities started claiming victory in regions under Moscow's control.

"We and many other countries have already been crystal clear. We will not -- indeed, we will never -- recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territory by Russia," Blinken told reporters.

Jaishankar said, “This conflict [Ukraine war] is not in anybody's interest. The best way forward is to return to dialogue and diplomacy."

US ON PROVIDING F-16s TO PAK

On providing a package of F-16s to Pakistan, a move strongly opposed by India, Anthony Blinken said that the United States has a responsibility and an obligation. The US also said that it was a sustained programme.

“This is a sustained program for F16s that Pak has long had. These are not new, this is sustaining what they have. We've a responsibility & obligation to whomever we provide military equipment to, that it's maintained & sustained," Antony Blinken said.

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