‘US, India commitment to democratic values is bedrock of our relationship’: Antony Blinken

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
July 28, 2021 11:48:47 am

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in India for a two-day visit on July 27. (AP/File)

A day after arriving in India for a two-day visit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken lauded the relationship between the two countries and their shared “commitment to democratic values”. Blinken is set to hold extensive talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday, and is later slated to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Wednesday morning, Blinken officially kicked off his visit by addressing a group of civil society leaders in New Delhi. “I was pleased to meet civil society leaders today. The U.S. and India share a commitment to democratic values; this is part of the bedrock of our relationship and reflective of India’s pluralistic society and history of harmony. Civil society helps advance these values,” Blinken tweeted after the event.

I was pleased to meet civil society leaders today. The U.S. and India share a commitment to democratic values; this is part of the bedrock of our relationship and reflective of India’s pluralistic society and history of harmony. Civil society helps advance these values. pic.twitter.com/5NL2WiQ13o

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) July 28, 2021

Speaking to the civil society leaders, Blinken said that the US’ relationship with India was “one of the most important in the world”, Reuters reported. “The Indian people and the American people believe in human dignity and equality of opportunity, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms including freedom of religion and belief . . . these are the fundamental tenets of democracies like ours,” he said.

Blinken’s visit is expected to lay the groundwork for the Quad leaders’ summit later this year in the US, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend.

Blinken is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Wednesday noon and PM Modi at 4 pm, before flying to Kuwait later in the evening. Blinken is also likely to meet NSA Ajit Doval.

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