S Jaishankar said in a tweet, "Good to meet in person, my old friend @SecBlinken. Detailed discussion on the global Covid challenge, focussing on expanded vaccine production capacity and reliable supply chains."
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his American counterpart Antony Blinken had an in-depth discussion on the Covid-19 situation in India and the immediate requirements of New Delhi to deal with the surging second wave of the pandemic.
It was their first meeting in person. The two ministers are in London to attend the G-7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting, which began on May 3.
Jaishankar said in a tweet, "Good to meet in person, my old friend @SecBlinken. Detailed discussion on the global Covid challenge, focussing on expanded vaccine production capacity and reliable supply chains."
"Expressed appreciation for the strong US support to India at this difficult time, especially oxygen and Remdesivir. Our meeting also covered issues of Indo-Pacific, UN Security Council, Myanmar and climate change," he said in another tweet.
The United Kingdom has invited India for the meeting. The foreign ministers of Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and the Chair and Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were also invited.
During the meeting, Blinken assured him that the US was monitoring developments closely and would respond positively to any Indian requirement.
So far, three US Air Force aircraft carrying medical supplies have arrived in India, and the next shipment would be landing soon.
As per the sources, issues related to oxygen and other medical equipment were also discussed, and Blinken has agreed to act on India's request for more Remdesvir.
The two ministers also discussed Indian vaccine production, which can address both India's own needs and global public health requirements. India and the US will collaborate bilaterally, in Quad format and multilateral initiatives.
They further exchanged their views on the Indo-Pacific strategic landscape.
"Conversation brought out the convergence of interests. Ministers reviewed the progress in practical cooperation in recent months," sources said.
Besides, they also deliberated on the agenda before UNSC and other multilateral organisations. They agreed that it was in mutual interest to work together.
They also noted that climate action and clean energy could be areas of cooperation. "Early operationalisation of the 2030 Clean Energy Agenda was important," they said.
The meeting of G-7 -- a grouping of seven industrialised countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and the UK-EU -- is being held in London from May 3 to 5. This is the first physical G7 meet in over two years. The last G7 FMs meet took place in Dinard and Saint-Malo, France, in April 2019.
Last Updated May 4, 2021, 9:03 AM IST