Blinken talking to top Indian officials to strengthen ties

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, arrives to committee a plane, Monday, July 26, 2021 astatine Andrews Air Force Base, Md., traveling to New Delhi, India and Kuwait City, Kuwait. (Jonathan Ernst/Pool via AP)

NEW DELHI – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was talking with apical Indian officials Wednesday successful meetings that are expected to deepen ties betwixt the important allies that are some rivals to a rising China.

Blinken and Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar were apt to sermon strengthening Indo-Pacific engagement, seen arsenic a antagonistic to China, arsenic good arsenic New Delhi’s caller quality rights grounds and issues related to the coronavirus pandemic and clime change. A imaginable acme of leaders of the Quad successful the U.S. aboriginal this twelvemonth is besides expected to beryllium connected the agenda.

The U.S. and India are portion of the Quad determination confederation that besides includes Japan and Australia and helps woody with China’s increasing economical and subject strength. Washington has agelong viewed New Delhi arsenic a cardinal spouse successful efforts to blunt expanding Chinese assertiveness successful the Indo-Pacific region, and ties betwixt them person been connected the ascent implicit the past fewer years.

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Blinken’s India sojourn comes conscionable days aft his No. 2 diplomat, Wendy Sherman, was successful China. He volition conscionable Prime Minister Narendra Modi aboriginal Wednesday.

Before gathering with Jaishankar, Blinken held closed-door talks with India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, details of which were not released. He besides spoke to civilian nine leaders and said the cardinal freedoms and regularisation of instrumentality were "tenets of democracies" similar the U.S. and India.

“We judge that each radical merit to person a dependable successful their government, to beryllium treated with respect, nary substance who they are," helium said.

Ahead of Blinken’s visit, Washington had said the apical U.S. diplomat volition rise the issues of quality rights and ideology successful India.

Opponents of Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist enactment person accused it of stifling dissent and introducing divisive policies seen by galore arsenic discriminatory toward Muslims and different minorities. Modi has besides been accused of trying to soundlessness voices captious of his administration’s handling of the pandemic.

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India routinely denies disapproval of its quality rights record. It has besides rejected disapproval by overseas governments and rights groups that accidental civilian liberties person shrunk successful the country.

Blinken is besides expected to question India’s enactment successful stabilizing Afghanistan aft the U.S. subject withdrawal is completed astatine the extremity of August.

After his India visit, Blinken is acceptable to question to Kuwait.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This worldly whitethorn not beryllium published, broadcast, rewritten oregon redistributed without permission.


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