In reflection of growing bilateral ties between India and the US, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks covering the situation in Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific engagements, COVID-19 response mechanism and ways to strengthen regional security.
At a joint media briefing, Blinken said there are few relationships in the world that are more vital than the one between the US and India.
At the same time, he said as the world's leading democracies, "we take seriously our responsibilities" towards freedom, equality and opportunity to all of "our people".
"Our shared values strengthen the US and India relationship. Like our own, India's democracy is powered by its free thinking citizens. We applaud that. We view Indian democracy as a force for good in defence of a free and open Indo-Pacific & an free & open world", Blinken said.
"We believe that this partnership will be critical for delivering stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond and for showing the world how democracy can deliver for their people," he added.
While speaking about India's human rights record, he said, "We talk about in our founding document, search for a more perfect union that means we're not perfect. No democracy regardless of how large or old has it all figured out".
"We recognize that every democracy, starting with our own, is a work in progress. When we discussed these issues, I certainly do it from starting point of humility. We've seen challenges our own democracy faced & faces today. This is in a sense to all democracies", he added.
Blinken took to his Twitter to laud India's emergence as a leading global power and appreciating Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for the collaborative discussion on many areas of cooperation. He wrote, "Thanks to @DrSJaishankar for a collaborative discussion today on many areas of cooperation, including efforts to support peace and stability in Afghanistan. India is one of our most valued partners, and the U.S. welcomes India's emergence as a leading global power".
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