‘We will never forget’: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on India’s help during early days of COVID

India and the US on Friday (May 28) promised to support each other amid the COVID-19 crisis in the second physical meet between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Both of them had met earlier this year in London on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting. 

Jaishankar, standing alongside the US Secretary of State, said, “Our relations have grown strong over the years and I am very confident that it will continue to do so”, thanking the US for the “strong support and solidarity at the moment of great difficulty for us”. 

Amid the second wave of the COVID crisis, the US sent assistance which included  20,000 courses of Remdesivir, 1,500 oxygen cylinders, nearly 550 mobile oxygen concentrators, 2.5 million N95 masks and a large-scale Deployable Oxygen Concentration System. 

Responding to this, Blinken said, “We know, we remember in the earlier days of COVID, India was there for the US, something we will never forget, and now we want to make sure that we are there for India”

India had last year sent HCQ to the US. Both sides have been engaging with each over on dealing with the crisis, especially under the Quad grouping of — US, India, Australia, and Japan. After the first virtual summit that took place earlier this year, it was decided that more covid vaccines will be manufactured under the Quad Covid Vaccine initiative. 

Calling EAM, friend and colleague, the US Secretary of State said, “US and India are working together on so many of the most important challenges of our time, one those are having a profound impact on the lives of our citizens”. He highlighted how both countries are “united” in “confronting covid” & the “challenge posed by climate change” even as they have “partnered directly through the quad, other institutions like the UN” and “partnership between US and India is vital, it is strong and increasingly productive”.

Jaishankar is on a week-long visit to the US, during which he held talks with the US defense secretary and USTR in Washington and meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York.

(With inputs from DNA India)

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