WASHINGTON: The US has a number of shared interests and values with India in terms of economic and trade ties and cooperation on climate and regional security issues that were discussed during the recent visit of Secretary of State Antony Blinken to New Delhi, a top State Department official has said.
Blinken arrived in New Delhi on July 27 on a two-day visit with an extensive agenda for talks. It was Blinken's first visit to India after assuming charge as the US Secretary of State and the third by a high-ranking Biden administration official.
Blinken called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 28 and held talks with his counterpart S Jaishankar. Blinken also held talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
"I think you heard from us at the time, it was the Secretary's first opportunity as Secretary of State to travel to India. It was also an opportunity for us to explore ways that we can strengthen and deepen the comprehensive global strategic partnership that we have with India," State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference on Monday.
"The other point that we made is that we have a number of shared interests and shared values with the government of India," he said responding to a question on the recent visit of Blinken to India.
"We have talked about this in terms of our economic ties, in terms of our trade ties, in terms of our cooperation on climate, in terms of regional security issues, in terms of India's role as an important member of the Quad and our joint cooperation to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, including with the enhanced vaccine production capability that the Quad arrived at earlier this year," Price said.
He said that President Joe Biden is "very much looking forward" to a leader-level Quad summit later this year. Biden hosted the first virtual summit of the leaders of the Quad grouping in March this year. Prime Minister Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attended the summit of the four countries hosted by President Biden.
During the briefing, State Department spokesperson Price also said that America's relationship with India is one that also extends to the Indian people.
"The ties between the American people and the Indian people are deep, they're enduring, they are predicated on familial ties, they are predicated on mutual respect for one another's heritage and culture. These are also ties that were on full display, during not only the meetings with our government counterparts, but also with elements of civil society and the secretary as he almost always does, had an opportunity to visit the embassy in New Delhi," he said.
"And to thank not only the American diplomats who are there, but also the Indian nationals who are so important and so vital to our mission to deepen and strengthen that comprehensive global strategic partnership," he added.