Jaishankar and Blinken meet amid ASEAN talks on Taiwan, Myanmar | India News

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NEW DELHI: In their second bilateral meeting in less than a month, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed regional and global issues on Thursday, including the crisis in Sri Lanka and what the US has described as Russia’s “brutal aggression” against Ukraine and its implications for global food security.
The meeting took place in Cambodia on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum and amid rising US-China tensions following the visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Neither side officially said the current situation in Taiwan was discussed at the meeting.
“They discussed Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and stressed that both nations stand with the people of Sri Lanka and support their aspirations for a return to economic and political stability through democratic and constitutional processes,” a statement said. spokesman for the US State Department, adding that the leaders noted their joint efforts to promote a “free, open, secure and prosperous” Indo-Pacific. The two leaders met last month in Bali on the sidelines of a G20 summit. Blinken also discussed the implications of Russia’s “unprovoked aggression.”
According to the United States, Blinken also condemned Myanmar’s military government’s execution of democracy activists, and they discussed promoting “accountability for the regime’s atrocities as well as our collective efforts to restore Burma on the road to democracy.
There was no Indian reading of the meeting, but Jaishankar tweeted that he discussed the “constantly consolidating” India-US relationship and the global situation.
Jaishankar also attended the India-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting during which he highlighted the “strong convergence” with ASEAN on many issues including Indo-Pacific, UNCLOS, connectivity, terrorism, Myanmar and Ukraine. Myanmar and the situation in Taiwan have dominated ASEAN meetings, with the group threatening to rethink its “five-point consensus” with the military government if more political prisoners are executed.
Despite the complex nature of its relationship with Myanmar, mainly due to joint efforts to control the insurgency along the border areas, India joined other UNSC members last month in condemning the executions . The Foreign Office also expressed its “deep concern” last week while calling for a peaceful resolution of the issues involved.
The two sides discussed the situation in the South China Sea and reaffirmed their common commitment to international law, including UNCLOS. India and ASEAN are also expected to hold an “informal meeting” of defense ministers in November this year.
While India has so far avoided making any statement on cross-Strait tensions, ASEAN said in a statement that it was concerned about the possibility of any “miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unforeseeable consequences between the great powers”. Calling for maximum restraint, the statement reiterated ASEAN member states’ support for their respective “one China” policies.
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