Washington [US], July 27 (ANI): Referring to the arrival of US State Secretary Anthony Blinken on his two-day visit to India, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that America is excited to expand the strong and growing India-US partnership.
"Secretary Blinken is wheels down in New Delhi for meetings with our Indian partners. We're excited to expand the strong and growing US-India partnership," tweeted Price.
"The United States and India are working together on so many of the most important challenges of our time and ones that are having a profound impact on the lives of our citizens. The partnership between the United States and India is vital, it's strong, and it's increasingly productive," said Secretary Blinken.
Blinken will be discussing bilateral relations, regional issues including Afghanistan, Pakistan sponsored terrorism, Indo-pacific among other issues with Indian officials.
Blinken also talked to Nepal's new Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and discussed the advancement of the US-Nepal partnership.
"I had the pleasure to speak with Nepali Prime Minister Deuba today. We discussed the advancement of the U.S.-Nepal partnership including cooperation on our shared fight against COVID-19 and the effects of climate change," tweeted Blinken.
Blinken's visit to India will reaffirm the United States' commitment to strengthening partnership and underscore cooperation on the shared priorities, according to a statement from the US Department of State.
Secretary Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to discuss a wide range of issues, including continued cooperation on COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis, added the statement.
The United States and India have a strong strategic partnership founded on shared values and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
The United States supports India's emergence as a leading global power and vital partner in efforts to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is a region of peace, stability, and growing prosperity and economic inclusion, said the statement.
The United States and India cooperate on a wide range of diplomatic, economic and security issues, including defence, non-proliferation, regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, shared democratic values, counterterrorism, climate change, health, energy, trade and investment, peacekeeping, the environment, education, science and technology, agriculture, space, and oceans.
In 2008, the United States and India signed an agreement, making India a full partner in the governance and funding of the Fulbright Program.
The United States and India are working to expand cooperation in international organizations. The United States welcomed India joining the UN Security Council in January 2021 for a two-year term.
In October 2020, India hosted the third 22 Ministerial Dialogue, and the United States looks forward to the next 22 later this year, said the statement.
Moreover, India is a leading global power and a key US partner in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. At the inaugural Quad Leaders' Summit in March, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined their Japanese and Australian counterparts in pledging to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, combat the climate crisis, and address shared challenges, including in cyber-space, critical technologies, counterterrorism, quality infrastructure investment, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maritime security, the statement added.
US-India defence cooperation is reaching new heights, including through information sharing, liaison officers, increasingly complex exercises like Malabar, and defence enabling agreements, such as the secure communications agreement COMCASA. As of 2020, the United States has authorized over USD 20 billion in defence sales to India.
Through the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the United States and India work together on co-production and co-development of defence equipment.
The United States and India are also closely coordinating on regional security issues, such as Afghanistan, read the statement.
Further, the United States has contributed more than USD 200 million for India's COVID-19 relief and response efforts since the pandemic began, including more than USD 50 million in emergency supplies and training for more than 218,000 frontline health workers on infection prevention and control, benefitting more than 43 million Indians.
Earlier this year, the United States and India initiated the renewal of a memorandum of understanding to collaborate through an International Center of Excellence in Research focused on infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and other emerging threats.
The United States and India are partnering to strengthen the global response to COVID-19, on issues ranging from addressing infectious disease outbreaks to strengthening health systems to securing global supply chains.
Also, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry travelled to India in April of this year and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They discussed the importance of two of the world's largest economies leading together to address the climate crisis.
At the Leaders' Summit on Climate in April, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi launched the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership to strengthen cooperation on strong actions in the current decade to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and to help each country achieve its respective climate and clean energy goals.
Under the new Agenda 2030 Partnership, the United States and India look forward to launching the new Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue, led by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and relaunching the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership, led by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, later this year, read the statement.
The United States also seeks further cooperation with India on tackling the climate crisis and raising global ambition ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, in November. (ANI)