Active Stocks
Mon Apr 22 2024 15:57:16
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 161.85 -0.15%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,512.30 -1.24%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 765.85 2.00%
  1. ICICI Bank share price
  2. 1,087.00 1.93%
  1. Wipro share price
  2. 461.95 2.01%
Business News/ News / India/  US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in India: China, Israel, 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue... Top 5 things you need to know
BackBack

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in India: China, Israel, 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue... Top 5 things you need to know

The discussions are expected to cover a range of issues, including the ongoing border dispute with China, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the challenge posed by the conflict in Gaza to key trade and transport routes linking Europe, the Middle East, and India.

File Image: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks in Washington, U.S., October 26, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Nathan Howard)Premium
File Image: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks in Washington, U.S., October 26, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Nathan Howard)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in India to hold talks and bolster bilateral ties between the two countries, as per an AFP report. The top talking points include alignment on India's position on Hamas, achieving a regional equaliser to China, and the much-awaited "two-plus-two" talks with Indian counterparts in New Delhi, it added.

Particularly on the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will join Blinken in talks with India's foreign minister S Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh. The annual dialogue is expected to focus on "defence and security cooperation", the report added.

Overall, the discussions are expected to cover a range of issues, including the ongoing border dispute with China, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the challenge posed by the conflict in Gaza to key trade and transport routes linking Europe, the Middle East, and India.

Defence and Security Cooperation in Focus

The annual 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between Blinken, Austin, Jaishankar, and Singh comes as India is a part of the Quad alliance with the US, Australia, and Japan, the report added. The quad seeks to enhance defence ties and move away from reliance on Russia as its primary military supplier.

"Our intention is to encourage more collaboration to produce world-class defence equipment to meet Indian defence needs and contribute to greater global security," said Donald Lu, the top US diplomat for South and Central Asia.

India's stance on Israel-Hamas Conflict

India has earlier "swiftly condemned" Hamas in line with the US, expressing solidarity with Israel, the report noted. The talks aim to discuss the Gaza conflict and emphasize shared goals of preventing its escalation, preserving stability in the Middle East, and promoting a two-state solution.

"The Indian government was direct in its condemnation of the Hamas terrorist attack and has also joined a chorus of nations, including the United States, that have called for sustained humanitarian access to Gaza," said Lu.

China Hegemony on the Agenda

The visit underscores the Biden administration's priority in strengthening ties with India amid China's rise, the report noted.

India and its northern neighbour China continue to grapple with a longstanding border dispute, with a fatal clash in the Himalayas in 2020 exacerbating tensions. The shared frontier, spanning 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles), remains a persistent source of strain.

The 2020 clash also had significant repercussions, leading to a deep freeze in diplomatic relations between the two countries. The aftermath of the incident has posed challenges to efforts aimed at resolving the border dispute and improving overall bilateral ties.

"We will be interested to hear how India's discussions with China are going related to border issues. One of the many discussion points will be our cooperation with India to keep the Indo-Pacific free, open, prosperous, and secure," Lu added.

Russia-Ukraine War to be discussed

Russia's invasion of Ukraine will also be a key topic on the diplomatic agenda, Lu added.

New Delhi faces a delicate balancing act between its long-standing alliance with Russia, the primary source of its arms imports, amid deepening ties with Washington. President Joe Biden's administration has prioritized building relations with Delhi, recognizing it as a "like-minded partner", the AFP report said.

Challenges to US-India relations

Tensions between India and another US partner, Canada, may add complexity to the discussions, with a bitter feud over allegations linking Indian intelligence to the killing of a Canadian citizen.

India-Canada relations have faced a setback following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's public statement in September, connecting Indian intelligence to the death of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Delhi dismissed these allegations as “absurd."

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a proponent of a distinct Sikh state independent from India, was sought by Indian authorities for charges related to terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder. The allegations have strained diplomatic ties between the two nations.

"We have publicly and privately urged the Indian government to cooperate with Canada on the investigation into the allegations. We are hopeful that Canada's investigation will proceed, and the perpetrators will be brought to justice", Lu added.

Importance of 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

The US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, held annually since 2018, is seen as crucial, sending a message about the importance of the relationship between the two countries, as per an ANI report. It provides a platform for high-level discussions on critical bilateral and global matters, with a special focus on developments in the Indo-Pacific region, the ANI report added.

President and CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (UISPF) Mukesh Aghi told ANI the pivotal role India plays, especially in the Middle East, and the significance of maintaining momentum in the US-India relationship.

"India plays a pivotal role, especially in the Middle East. Its relationship with Israel, its relationship with the UAE and India's position supporting Israel while having 200 million Muslims in India. The dialogue sends a clear message that India will play a much more pivotal role, especially in the Middle East, and can be a big partner of the United States and Israel and other countries in the region," he stated.

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 10 Nov 2023, 08:19 AM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App