Blinken’s India visit: Situation in Afghanistan, terror safe havens in Pak to figure in talks

The implications of the withdrawal of American troops on the security situation in Afghanistan and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan on terror financing and terrorist safe havens will be on the agenda of talks during US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s two-day visit to India from July 27, official sources said on Sunday.

In the discussions, India will press for gradual resumption of international travel while maintaining health protocols, and will particularly seek easing movements of students, professionals and business travellers among others, they said.

India will continue to push for ensuring open and consistent supply chains for materials and items required for the production of coronavirus vaccines as it ramps up the manufacturing for domestic and global supplies thereafter, the sources said.

During his two-day visit, Blinken is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The two sides are also expected to explore ways to deepen defence collaboration, including exercises, defence transfers and technologies ahead of the next edition of the 2+2 defence and foreign ministerial dialogue to be held in the US later this year, they said.

Discussions on deepening engagement in the Indo-Pacific region under the Quad or Quadrilateral coalition will be another key focus area of talks with the possibility of a meeting of foreign ministers of India,…

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