The Secretary of State of the United States (US), Antony Blinken visited India from July 27-28, 2021. This is Blinken’s 1st visit to India after assuming charge as Secretary of State.
- The visit is aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two countries and to expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region under the Quad Framework (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue).
- The two sides also discussed the declining security situation in Afghanistan.
- Blinken held talks with External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval & Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
USD 25 million for India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
The US Government announced an additional USD 25 million (~ INR 186 Crores) to support India’s COVID-19 Vaccination programme.
i.The fund will be provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
- USAID will collaborate with India’s Ministry of Health &Family Welfare and state governments, to support vaccine supply chain logistics, address misinformation and vaccine hesitancy.
- It will also train healthcare workers to deliver vaccines safely and effectively across India.
ii.Since March 2020, USAID has allocated more than USD 226 million (~ INR 1,670 crore) in COVID-19 relief to India.
- It includes USD 100 million (~ INR 740 crore) to support India’s response to COVID-19 surge and more than USD 50 million (~ INR 370 crore) in emergency supplies.
US, India Agree to Expand Multilateral Security Partnership
India and the US agreed to expand their Multilateral Security Partnership. Both countries are concerned about the growing influence of China in the Asia-Pacific & Indo-Pacific region.
i.In the past, both countries have signed key defence pacts such as
- Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016. It allows militaries of both countries to use each other’s bases for repair & replenishment of sources.
- Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018. It provides interoperability between the two militaries
- Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) signed in October, 2020. provides for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries.
India-US to end COVID-19 pandemic through QUAD Vaccine Partnership
India & US will work to end the COVID-19 pandemic through the Quad Vaccine Partnership. The partnership will bring vaccines to other countries across the Asian Region.
Antony Blinken meets PM Narendra Modi
Antony Blinken met with PM Narendra Modi during the visit. They discussed key issues like COVID-19 response mechanism, the situation in Afghanistan and Indo-Pacific engagements.
Recent Related News:
i.March 25, 2021, US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin III arrived in India on a Three-day visit from March 19-21, 2021. It is the 1st visit by a Top Official of the newly elected Biden Administration to India.
ii.April 1, 2021, EAM Dr S Jaishankar reached Dushanbe as part of his official visit to Tajikistan from March 30-31, 2021.
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Currency – United States Dollar (USD)
President – Joe Biden