Amid growing securities concerns following new twists created by China at the border in the past few weeks, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is reported to have spoken with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, covering a range of bilateral and global issues including the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The external affairs minister is also reported to have held a telephonic conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday with a focus on follow-up of the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin.
“A broad-ranging conversation yesterday night with @SecBlinken. Covered current bilateral issues, Indo-Pacific, and pressing global matters. Also exchanged New Year greetings,” the external affairs minister tweeted on his talks with Blinken.
It is understood that the situation in Afghanistan is also figured in the conversation. India's ties with the US have witnessed a significant upswing in the last few months on a range of issues including the situation in the Indo-Pacific and tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conversation came as the two sides are preparing for the next edition of the ‘two-plus-two' foreign and defence ministerial talks. The ‘two-plus-two' dialogue is likely to take place later this month or in February in Washington.
“Glad to exchange New Year greetings with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov this evening. Discussed the follow-up of the Annual Summit and 2+2 Meeting. Agreed to remain in regular touch,” Jaishankar said in another tweet.
The conversation came two weeks after Prime Minister Modi and President Putin held a phone conversation covering bilateral defence cooperation, supply of fertilisers, and ways to enhance India's engagement with the Russian Far Eastern region.
Putin visited Delhi India on December 6 and participated in the 21st India-Russia annual summit that witnessed the inking of 28 pacts between the two sides to further broad-base their bilateral ties.
At the summit, the two sides had also vowed to ramp up cooperation in confronting major challenges such as terrorism, radicalism, and dealing with the situation in Afghanistan.