Citing the COVID-19 epidemic and vaccines as one of the key issues in his discussions with senior Biden administration officials, Foreign Minister Jaishankar today said the effort was to increase vaccine production in India with help from the United States.
Mr Jaishankar, 66, is the first Indian Cabinet minister to visit the US under the administration of Biden.
The main focus of this trip was apparently the relationship with the new management. The most important relationship. Also, meeting with senior cabinet members, he told a group of Indian journalists in Washington as he concluded most of his involvement.
There was also a context of the COVID-19 because of the cooperation between vaccines between India and the US, and the negotiations for Quad on vaccines. That was also one of the key issues.
Mr Jaishankar met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, US Trade Representatives Katherine Tai and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines over the past two days.
He also held meetings with senior officials of about a dozen administrative departments. He also spoke to the chairpersons of the India Caucus, as well as to the Chairman and Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Mr Jaishankar said he also met with business leaders at a meeting organized by the US India Business Council and the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum, where one of the key discussion topics was on COVID-19.
He said that other than that, there has been a great deal of business interest in what is happening with COVID-19. How is it going? What impact could it have on the economy?
The Foreign Minister also attended a series of meetings at the United Nations.
“If I were to clarify the intentions, I would actually be here to express our gratitude for the strong solidarity that the United States showed during the second wave of COVID-19 in India, and for the US in the issue of vaccine production, because the US in terms of supply chain, policy , “he said.
“You could even see in my tweets, in many meetings, that a problem has arisen in one way or another, and our aim is to increase our production of policies in India and we will work with the US to make that happen,” he told a group of Indian journalists.
Regarding India receiving vaccines from the US, Mr Jaishankar said there were ongoing discussions on various aspects of vaccines, from regulatory to legal and commercial. A large number of companies have been instrumental in ensuring that their purchases go smoothly, he said.
This was something I had discussed in detail with Secretary Blinken, while we were in London. We have seen in the last two to three weeks that the transaction works very well. I think some of you are due to the intervention of the (Indian) ambassador (in the US), he said.
Based on the details of the American stocks where President Biden said they would agree to do something, the issue came to mind. But my understanding is that, in the days or weeks to come, the US will obviously take its decisions, the minister said.
He stressed that India and the United States have played a significant role in this regard.
The minister added that India has indicated its willingness to accept and import vaccines removed by the US Food and Drug Administration.