Tuesday, November 28, 2023

US Secretary of State’s India Visit for 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is embarking on a diplomatic tour of five nations, culminating with his visit to India for the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in November, as announced by the State Department. Blinken’s itinerary includes a visit to Israel, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, and finally, India. During his visit to India, he will be joined by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

The US delegation, during their visit to India, will engage in discussions with India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, as well as other high-ranking Indian officials. These talks will cover a wide range of topics, including bilateral and global concerns, with a particular focus on developments in the Indo-Pacific region.

In Israel, Blinken will reaffirm US support for Israel’s right to self-defense within the bounds of international humanitarian law. The discussions will also revolve around efforts to ensure the safety of US citizens in the region, the release of hostages, the provision of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and strategies to prevent the escalation of conflict.

In Jordan, Blinken will emphasize the importance of safeguarding civilian lives and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, restoring essential services, and preventing the forced displacement of Palestinians outside Gaza. He will also address mechanisms to reduce violence, calm tensions, and work towards sustainable peace in the Middle East, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Blinken’s diplomatic journey will then lead him to Tokyo, Seoul, and New Delhi, where he will focus on strengthening collaborative efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region that is characterized by prosperity, security, connectivity, and resilience.

In Tokyo, Blinken will participate in the second G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of 2023, building on the commitments made during the G7 Hiroshima Summit. He will also hold bilateral discussions with Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko to address various priorities, including support for Ukraine’s economic recovery, energy needs, and enhanced cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

Next, Blinken will travel to Seoul to meet with President Yoon Suk Yeol, Foreign Minister Park Jin, and National Security Advisor Cho Tae-yong. Discussions will encompass global challenges, such as Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and its military cooperation with the DPRK, as well as instability in the Middle East. The meetings will also explore mutual efforts to bolster bilateral investment and economic security.

Throughout his visits to Tokyo and Seoul, Blinken will underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan and the Republic of Korea, emphasizing the significance of robust and sustained trilateral engagement following the historic Camp David Summit in August, as highlighted by the State Department’s statement.

Blinken’s tour will conclude in New Delhi, where he will participate in the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, accompanied by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. The delegation will engage in comprehensive discussions with India’s Minister for External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh, and other senior Indian officials to address both bilateral and global concerns and explore developments in the Indo-Pacific region.

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