India is a great partner of US: Blinken tells Jaishankar at G20 meet

India is a great partner of US: Blinken tells Jaishankar at G20 meet

The External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday discussed global energy and food security concerns triggered by the Ukraine conflict.
The talks took place on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers meeting (FMM) in the Indonesian city of Bali.

“Continued the conversation with @SecBlinken on global and regional issues, this time at Bali #G20FMM. Our relationship today allows us to approach a range of challenges with greater understanding and openness,” Jaishankar tweeted.

In his opening remarks, Blinken said challenges of food and energy security have been “dramatically exacerbated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine” even as he described India as a “great partner” of the US.

Jaishankar said that “some really remarkable developments” were seen in the India-US relations over the last one-and-a-half years.

“We’re, of course, here together at the G20, which is a vital institution for trying to deal collectively with some of the most significant problems and challenges that the world faces, as well as opportunities that are before us that are really affecting the lives of our people,” Blinken said.

The text of the opening remarks was released by the US State Department.

“Whether it is on the challenging side – food insecurity, energy insecurity, climate change — but also whether its opportunities for growth, for jobs, for progress, peoples lives, the G20 is a vital institution,” Blinken said.

“And, of course, unfortunately, tragically, many of the challenges that the world faces that are having an impact on the lives of people, particularly when it comes to food, to energy – these challenges have been dramatically exacerbated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” he added.

The US Secretary of State also referred to a UN report that has found that 71 million more people are now in poverty as a result of the “aggression”.

Also Read: EAM Jaishankar meets Russian foreign minister Lavrov in Bali

“I think what we have heard today already is a strong chorus from around the world — not just the United States, but around the world — about the need for this aggression to end so that we can actually focus on the challenges that are affecting people in their lives,” he said referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“But in all of this, India is a great partner for the United States.  We’re working together on virtually every single one of these issues, and I look forward to pursuing the conversation that we have been engaged in for the last 18 months,” Blinken said.

According to the US State Department, Jaishankar said G20 is a natural location to look at the major challenges facing the world.

“And I think foremost among those are really energy security concerns. I think developing countries find that their options are very constricted. They’re really reeling under our process and debilitating challenges.,” he said.

On bilateral ties, he said “some really remarkable developments” were seen in the India-US relations.

Jaishankar also held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Bali.

India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.

In the last few months, India has also increased the import of discounted crude oil from Russia notwithstanding increasing disquiet over it by several Western powers.

India’s crude oil imports from Russia have jumped over 50 times since April and now it makes up for 10 per cent of all crude bought from overseas.

The G20 is a leading grouping that brings together the worlds major economies. Its members account for more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet.

Besides India, the US and Russia, the other members of G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.

Each year, the presidency invites guest countries, which take full part in the G20 exercise. Several international and regional organisations also participate, granting the forum an even broader representation.

(With Agency Inputs)

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