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S Jaishankar, Top US Diplomat Hold Talks, No Mention Of India-Canada Row

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S Jaishankar and Antony Blinken did not take any questions from the media.

New Delhi:

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his US counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington on Thursday and discussed a full range of issues, including key outcomes of India’s G20 presidency, creation of India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, according to the US Department of State, the two leaders

“Good to be back here. And we, of course, had the prime minister here this summer. Thanks to the US for all the support to the G20 Summit,” Mr Jaishankar said while appearing before the media along with Mr Blinken ahead of the meeting held at the State Department.

While addressing the media, Mr Blinken said he had “very good discussions” over the last few weeks including at the G20 and on the margins of the UN General Assembly session in New York. He said he was looking forward to his discussions with the Indian counterpart.

The two leaders did not take any questions from the media.

Mr Jaishankar is currently on a five-day official trip to Washington.

“Great to meet my friend US Secretary of State @SecBlinken at State Department today. A wide ranging discussion, following up on PM @narendramodi’s June visit. Also exchanged notes on global developments. Laid the groundwork of our 2+2 meeting very soon,” he posted on X.

“The Secretary and the External Affairs Minister also emphasised the continued importance of cooperation ahead of the upcoming 2+2 Dialogue, in particular in the areas of defence, space, and clean energy,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement after the meeting.

New Delhi will host the fifth edition of India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, Mr Jaishankar announced on Thursday. Although he did not reveal the dates of the meeting, it is learnt that the ministerial dialogue would be held in the first half of November.

The two sides remained tight-lipped about the direct or indirect implications of the India-Canada row over the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia early this year.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has alleged that the Indian government was behind the killing of  Nijjar on June 18. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020. India has rejected Canada’s allegations as “absurd” and “motivated”.

Secretary Blinken refused to respond to reporters’ questions about the row.