External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar engaged in a crucial conversation with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, addressing recent Houthi attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to maritime cooperation in the region, expressing shared concerns over the Houthi assaults that jeopardize commerce and violate international law.
During the telephonic exchange, Secretary Blinken stressed the importance of the Red Sea as a vital commercial corridor, fostering international trade. The leaders discussed enhancing cooperation between the US and India to safeguard freedom of navigation in the region.
The conversation extended to the Israel-Hamas conflict, efforts to prevent escalation, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Blinken also addressed Russia’s “war of aggression” against Ukraine.
Taking to his official X handle, Jaishankar shared insights from the discussion, highlighting the focus on maritime security challenges in the Red Sea region. He appreciated Blinken’s perspectives on the West Asia situation, including Gaza, and exchanged views on developments related to the Ukraine conflict.
In December, Blinken emphasized the deepening partnership with India and elevated cooperation through the Quad alliance with Australia, Japan, and New Delhi. The Quad, a diplomatic network, continues to strengthen, reflecting robust Indo-Pacific partnerships.
Blinken underscored the unprecedented strength of US partnerships in the Indo-Pacific, citing collaborations on nuclear-powered submarines with the United Kingdom and Australia. The US has launched strategic partnerships with Vietnam and Indonesia, a Defense Cooperation Agreement with the Philippines, and trilateral initiatives with the Philippines and Japan. Additionally, new embassies have been established in the Solomon Islands and Tonga, outlining an extensive cooperation agenda for 2024.