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Jaishankar meets top US officials in Washington DC

IANS | September 29, 2023 10:32 AM

WASHINGTON: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held a wide range of discussions on the India-US relationship in a string of meetings with top US officials on Thursday, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

"We thank the US for all the support to the G20 summit, ” Jaishankar said to reporters before the meeting with Blinken. “And I actually look forward to seeing you (Blinken) in Delhi.”

Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin will travel to New Delhi for the annual 2+2 ministerial meeting, which is being hosted this year by India.

“We’ve had very good discussions over the last weeks, of course at the G20, in New York and the General Assembly, ” Blinken said at the press availability.

Jaishankar is in Washington for the second leg of his US tour, which started in New York where he led the Indian delegation at the annual UN General Assembly meetings.

Jaishankar started his meeting with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House during which the two officials “recognized the tremendous progress in our bilateral relationship this year and discussed taking it forward”, as the External Affairs Minister posted on X.

Next, he met the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. They discussed “expanding trade and economic relationship and its broader significance”.

US readouts of these meetings were expected later in the day.

The diplomatic row triggered by Canada has dogged the Indian Foreign Minister’s visit, especially because the US played a role in it.

Reportedly, one of the member countries of the 'Five Eyes' intelligence sharing agreement between the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia provided key intelligence that was used by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accuse New Delhi of involvement in the killing of a Khalistani terrorist in Canada in June. And that member country was the US reportedly.

India has dismissed the allegation as “absurd”. The US has supported the Canadian investigation and urged India to cooperate.

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