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EAM Jaishankar Speaks To Blinken; Share Concern Over Growing Tensions In Red Sea

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Washington, DC: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday spoke with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller informed on Thursday, adding that the two leaders discussed the recent attacks on merchant ships by the Yemen-backed Houthi groups in the Red Sea.

The two leaders also reaffirmed their maritime cooperation in the region, the State Department spokesperson informed.

“The Secretary and External Affairs Minister discussed the United States and India’s shared concerns over reckless Houthi attacks in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, which threaten the free flow of commerce, endanger innocent mariners, and violate international law,” Miller said.

During their telephonic conversation, the US Secretary of State emphasised that the Red Sea is a major commercial corridor that facilitates international trade and welcomed increased cooperation with India in defending freedom of navigation in the region.

The US Secretary and EAM also spoke about the Israel-Hamas conflict, efforts to prevent the conflict’s escalation and increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.

Blinken also discussed Russia’s “war of aggression” against Ukraine.

Earlier on Wednesday, the EAM posted from his official X handle, “A good discussion this evening with my friend US @SecBlinken. Our conversation focused on maritime security challenges, especially the Red Sea region. Appreciated his insights on ongoing situation in West Asia, including Gaza. Exchanged perspectives on developments pertaining to the Ukraine conflict. Looking forward to realizing our extensive cooperation agenda for 2024.”

Earlier in December, Blinken said the US has deepened its partnership with India, adding that his country has elevated cooperation with New Delhi, Japan and Australia through the Quad.

“We’ve deepened our partnership with India. We’ve elevated cooperation through the Quad with India, Japan, Australia,” the US State Secretary said at an end-of-year press availability on Wednesday (US local time).

The Quad is a diplomatic network between Australia, India, Japan and the US.

According to a press release issued by the US State Department, Blinken said the US’ partnerships in the Indo-Pacific have never been stronger.

He said the US was “working with the United Kingdom and Australia to produce nuclear-powered submarines. We launched new comprehensive strategic partnerships with Vietnam and Indonesia, a new Defense Cooperation Agreement with the Philippines, new trilateral initiatives with the Philippines and Japan, new embassies in the Solomon Islands and Tonga”.

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