External Affair Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar Monday landed in New York on a five-day visit to the US. This is EAM’s first visit to the US since India commenced its two-year tenure as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council on January 1.

The Ambassador of India to the UN, TS Tirumurti, received EAM Dr S Jaishankar on his first visit since the COVID-19 pandemic. “Privilege to receive @DrSJaishankar on his first visit to New York after #India entered the UN #SecurityCouncil on January 1 2021,” tweeted Ambassador Tirumurti.

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Dr S Jaishankar is expected to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. EAM Jaishankar last met Antony Blinken in early May in London during the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting.  He will also be meeting the senior officials of the Biden administration and cabinet ministers to discuss bilateral relationships. The topic of discussion will also include economic and COVID-related cooperation between India and the US.

As the second wave severely hit India, the shortage of vaccines in the country is emerging as a grave issue. The vaccine procurement issue will be the key agenda item between Dr S Jaishankar and the US administration. The US, as of now, hold a stockpile of 60 million Astra Zeneca vaccines, along with Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson&Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The US is playing a pivotal role in supporting India in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.