US Secty Blinken to meet PM Modi; Afghanistan, Indo Pacific and Quad to top the agenda

New Delhi/IBNS: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi on July 27-28 with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indo-Pacific and vaccines on top of the agenda, according to media reports.

US will intensify its diplomatic efforts from this week focussing on east and south east Asia on various issues that are causing ripples in the geopolitical environment in the region.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Japan and scheduled to visit China on Sunday while US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Singapore, Vietnam and Philippines, where Chinese aggression in the South China Sea is becoming a major election issue in Manila, according to a Hindustan Times report.

The report said that the Indian government is tight lipped over Bilken’s visit. Afghanistan will be on top of the agenda as the Taliban is believed to have made sweeping gains with the tacit support of Pakistani deep state, after the retreat of the US army.

US Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Milley has admitted that half of the 419 district centres were seized by the Taliban fighters, but he has openly said that the end game is still to be written in Afghanistan, according to the HT report.

Despite receiving major setbacks in north Badakhshan province, the Afghanistan government’s situation can improve greatly if it gets critical air support against the Islamists in the battle ahead. Afghan authorities have accused Pakistan of providing it to the Taliban and even confronted Pakistan with proof.

Further, India has made clear to China that resolution of East Ladakh LAC is critical to the normalization of bilateral ties and all transgressions from Depsang Bulge to Gogra-Hot Springs must be discussed, according to HT.

Bilken is likely to discuss Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s aggression in Ladakh and South China Sea, the report added.

The agenda of the Quad summit in the US in October will also be discussed.

Large scale production of vaccines in India to protect the world from vaccine inequity from still rampaging coronavirus, the report further said.

The Quad powers, who are uniting to counter China’s aggression in the Indo Pacific region, got a boost with the EU and Britain agreeing to back their efforts on securing rule of law and freedom.

During Secretary Blinken’s visit, the bilateral ties between India and US will be strengthened with India set to buy Predator drones from the US for national security., it said.

The two countries will also exchange information on possible rise of militant groups with the Taliban making huge strides in Afghanistan as in the 1990s, when terrorist groups like Harkat-ul-Ansar and HuJI operated as branches of the Sunni fundamentalists and Wahabi groups, according to the HT report.

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