Sat, 18 Sep 2021

New Delhi [India], July 28 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said India and the US are determined to end the Covid-19 pandemic together with the Quad vaccine partnership.

"We are determined to end this pandemic, and India-US will work together to do it together including through the Quad vaccine partnership. I believe India and the US together around the world will be leaders to bring this pandemic to an end," Blinken said.

The US Secretary of State also expressed his gratitude that his country remembers and will not forget the aid and assistance India provided during the early days of the pandemic and said, "I am proud we could return the gesture to India."India's External affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar also shared his thoughts and said, "Today, we focused on expanding vaccine production to make it globally affordable and accessible."Talking about economic recovery post-pandemic, Blinken said, "We also have to address the very painful secondary consequences of the pandemic to heal our economic recovery, India and US must continue to grow our trade relationship and beyond that, we have to keep working through the barriers that stand in the way of greater bilateral investments and deeper commercial ties. That's something we talked about today as well. If we create the right conditions for more trade and investment and innovation, there really is no limit to what our private sectors can achieve together".

Blinken praised the Indian Foreign Minister, saying that the relationship between India and America is one of the most important relations in the world. Blinken said he also discussed Quad and maritime security with Jaishankar.

"Thanks to Dr S Jaishankar for a collaborative discussion today on many areas of cooperation, including efforts to support peace and stability in Afghanistan. India is one of our most valued partners, and the U.S. welcomes India's emergence as a leading global power, " tweeted Blinken.

Blinken also clarified that Ouad is not a military alliance and its purpose is to work in cooperation on regional challenges.

Answering about Quad, he said, "Quad is not a military alliance. Its purpose is to advance cooperation on regional challenges while reinforcing international rules and values that we believe together underpin peace, prosperity, stability in the region."Talking about regional cooperation, Blinken said that the future of the 21st century will be written in this part of the world (Indo-Pacific).

"We share our vision, India and US are the free, open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. We work together to make that vision a reality and will continue to advance peace, security and development worldwide and to work in international organisations to strengthen world based international order," added the top US diplomat.

The United States on Wednesday also announced USD 25 million assistance to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts across India.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on a two-day visit to India, said that the funding will contribute to saving lives by strengthening vaccine supply chain logistics, addressing misinformation, vaccine hesitancy, and helping to train more health care workers.

"US has contributed more than 200 million dollars worth of COVID19 assistance. I am pleased to announce that the United States government will send additional 25 million dollars to support vaccination efforts across India," Blinken announced during a joint press conference with EAM S Jaishankar here. (ANI)

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