During his 5-day visit to the United States, Jaishankar meet his American counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, along with other key members of the Biden administration. Covid-19 has provided the clear subtext to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s interactions with his US counterpart Anthony J. Blinken for the moment and it remained the top of the agenda for their meeting in the US.
Prior to the Quad physical summit this fall, US, Indian, Japanese and Australian diplomats are believed to be working out an elaborate agenda to define the Quad grouping. S Jaishankar discussed various issues, including global vaccine production, and security issues in the Indo-Pacific. In the wake of development, India and the US have decided to cement bilateral ties with the Quad security grouping and the Washington has openly expressed support for New Delhi’s stand on global health security, Afghanistan and transgressions on its borders.
While recent developments in the sphere of international power games and regional politics mean that the US and India find that their interests are more aligned than ever, it is the pandemic and India’s urgent need for vaccines that commentators widely agree is the most immediate issue on which New Delhi need the US to pitch in.
After EAM Jaishankar’s U.S visit, India is set to host 13th BRICS summit. Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will participate in a virtual BRICS Ministerial meeting chaired by India, along with the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Russia and South Africa on Tuesday, officials confirmed.
The meeting will also be watched closely for any expression of support from the entire grouping for the India-South Africa proposal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that asks for a patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines, which would be a big boost for the proposal. About 60 countries have already backed the proposal, the U.S. has recently agreed to support it, while the European Union has yet to give its final decision on it.