US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in New Delhi late Tuesday, to discuss with Indian officials the agenda of expanding our security, defense cyber, and counterterrorism cooperation.
According to sources, India will press for gradual resumption of international travel especially easing mobility of students, professionals, business travellers, family reunions, humanitarian cases, etc. The need for resilient supply chains of critical medicines and healthcare equipment is likely to come up.
The two sides will exchange assessments about Indo-Pacific with a focus on Covid assistance, economic slowdown and security scenario, the sources said.
It will be Blinken’s first visit to India after assuming charge as the US Secretary of State and the second by a high-ranking Biden administration official since it came to power in January.
India will also discuss the regional security situation, implications of withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan on terror financing and terror havens, will be part of the agenda.
On US saying it will raise human rights issues with India, govt sources say human rights and democracy are universal and extend beyond a particular national or cultural perspective. India is proud of its achievements in both domains and is always glad to share experiences. As a long-standing pluralistic society, India is open to engaging those who now recognise the value of diversity.
On vaccines, India will continue to push for ensuring open and consistent supply chains for materials and items required for vaccine production, as India ramps up both for domestic vaccination and as for global supplies thereafter.