‘We see India as a positive force in defending a free and open Indo-Pacific,’ says US Secretary of State

While in India Blinken’s statement played a vital role in strengthening the India-US relationship. “Like our own, India’s democracy is powered by free-thinking citizens. We applaud that. We view Indian democracy as a force for good in defence of a free and open Indo-Pacific and a free and open world”, he said while addressing reporters.

“Our quest is to get closer to the ideals we set for ourselves. At times, the challenge is painful and ugly, but as democracies, we do it openly”, he added.

After holding extensive talks with India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar, Blinken stressed that the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is not a military alliance. “Four like-minded countries coming together to work on important issues that can have an impact on people is what quad is”

On Covid, he said “There isn’t a challenge that doesn’t have an impact on the lives of our citizens, whether it’s COVID or the disruptive impact of emerging technologies, that can be addressed by any one of us acting alone. There’s a greater imperative on cooperation among countries than ever before”.

Speaking on Afghanistan, Blinken said, “we are very much engaged in the diplomacy of working together to bring parties together at the table for resolution of conflict”.

On the other hand, Jaishankar highlighted the importance of cooperation that both countries showed during the time of pandemics. He also talked about the Indo-Pacific Peace, democratic stability in Afghanistan and deepening quad apart from highlighting the need to combat terrorism. “It is essential that peace negotiations are taken seriously by all parties.

“The world wishes to see an independent, sovereign, democratic, and stable Afghanistan at peace with itself and with its neighbours. But its independence and sovereignty will only be ensured if it is free from malign influences. Similarly, unilateral imposition of will by any party will obviously not be democratic and can never lead to stability, nor indeed can such efforts ever acquire legitimacy. The gains to Afghan civil society, especially on the rights of women, minorities, and social freedoms over the last two decades, are self-evident. We must collectively work to preserve them. Afghanistan must neither be home to terrorism nor a source of refugees”, he stated.