New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Thursday discussed bilateral ties and global challenges, including the Ukraine conflict. Their meeting took place on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan complex.
“Pleased to meet US Secretary of State @SecBlinken on G-20 FMM sidelines. Opportunity to review bilateral ties and discuss global issues,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Blinken, according to remarks released by the State Department, spent much of his time describing U.S. efforts to bolster energy and food security. But he also told Jaishankar that Russia’s war with Ukraine could not go unchallenged.
Jaishankar also met his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, and “focused on addressing current challenges to the bilateral relationship, especially peace and tranquility in the border areas.”
“There are real problems in that relationship that need to be looked at, that need to be discussed very openly and candidly between us. That’s what we sought to do today,” Jaishankar told reporters.
Qin, who is in India for the G-20 meeting, met with Jaishankar a day after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, “China attaches great importance to India.”
She added that maintaining good ties between the two countries is fundamental to their interests.
The relationship between New Delhi and Beijing has deteriorated since 2020, when Indian and Chinese soldiers clashed along their land border in the Ladakh region, with 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers killed. The skirmish turned into a long-running standoff in the rugged mountainous area, where each side had stationed tens of thousands of military personnel backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets.