Munich Security Conference – 2024: S Jaishankar meets Antony Blinken, India and US reaffirm strategic ties amid global challenges

Team India Sentinels Saturday 17th of February 2024 12:55 PM

S Jaishankar (R) with Antony Blinken in Munich. (Photo: X/@DrSJaishankar)

New Delhi: India’s external affairs minister, S Jaishankar, and the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, on Friday, and discussed the progress of their strategic partnership and the need to ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea.

The meeting came amid rising tensions between the US and Russia over the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, and the ongoing crisis in West Asia. Jaishankar and Blinken also exchanged views on the Indo-Pacific region, where both countries have a shared interest in maintaining a free and open order.

According to a statement by the US state department, Blinken highlighted that the respective US and Indian approaches to maritime security in the Red Sea are mutually reinforcing and play important roles in safeguarding economic stability in the region. He also praised the work of the two countries to ensure lasting peace and security in the Middle East.

Jaishankar, on his official X account, said that he and Blinken reviewed the continuing progress in their bilateral ties, which have grown stronger in recent years. He also said that they had a discussion on the situation in West Asia, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific.

The two leaders also met with their German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, and participated in a panel discussion on the future of global order at the conference. Jaishankar asserted that India should not be criticised for having multiple options in its foreign policy and reaffirmed its stand to buy Russian oil despite the sanctions on Moscow. Blinken was seen smiling as Jaishankar made the remark.

The Munich Security Conference, which is being held in-person from February 16 to February 18 this year, is an annual gathering of global leaders and experts to discuss the most pressing security challenges of the world. This year’s conference is being chaired by the German ambassador to the US, Christoph Heusgen.


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