India, US close ranks on interests in Indo-Pacific region
New Delhi, Jul 28 (EFE).- India and the United States on Wednesday held talks to boost ties and promote common interests in the Indo-Pacific region apart from discussing the delicate regional security situation, climate change and the post-pandemic recovery, apart from other issues.
The alliance between the two sides was given a shot in the arm by the official visit of the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to New Delhi for meeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
“There are few relationships in the world that are more vital than the one between the US and India,” Blinken said in a press conference after meeting Jaishankar, adding that the alliance was shaping up the 21st century.
The US and India are part of the Quad alliance along with Japan and Australia, with the group seen as an effort to check China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean.
Although the bloc had kept a low profile after being formed during the Barack Obama administration (2009-2017), US President Joe Biden’s government has decide to revive and relaunch the alliance.
On Wednesday Blinken said that the partnership “will be critical for the stability in the Indo-Pacific region and for assuring the world how democracies can deliver their people.”
According to a press release by the US department of state, Blinken and Modi “discussed efforts to deepen the US-India partnership, (…) regional challenges and a growing range of cooperation,” including efforts on regional security and democracy through the Quad consultations.
“I think people need to get over the idea of that somehow other countries doing things is directly against them. I think countries do what is in the best interest for them, and I think that is what the Indo-Pacific region does,” Jaishankar said when asked about Beijing’s criticism of the Quad.
Blinken mentioned India’s aid to the US during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that “I am proud that we could return the gesture of our friendship.”
During the second wave of the pandemic in India, when a massive surge in cases led to a complete collapse of the health system, the US had contributed over $200 million over relief efforts, Blinken said.