Published On: Fri, Jan 12th, 2024

Jaishankar-Blinken discuss Red Sea attacks, Gaza escalation over phone

New Delhi: The US has expressed its appreciation for India’s “increased cooperation” in protecting the freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, where the two countries share a common concern over the Houthi attacks that endanger the region.

Jaishankar said he had a “good discussion” with “my friend” Blinken

On Thursday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a phone conversation and “discussed the United States and India’s shared concerns over the 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”, according to a statement by State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller.

Blinken highlighted the importance of the Red Sea as a vital commercial route that supports international trade and “welcomed increased cooperation with India in defending freedom of navigation in the region”, the statement said.

Jaishankar and Blinken also talked about the Israel-Hamas conflict, efforts to prevent the escalation and increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza. Blinken also discussed Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the statement said.

In a post on X, Jaishankar said he had a “good discussion” with “my friend” Blinken.

“Our conversation focused on maritime security challenges, especially the Red Sea region. Appreciated his insights on ongoing situation in West Asia, including Gaza,” Jaishankar said.

The Indian leader added that they exchanged perspectives on developments pertaining to the Ukraine conflict. “Looking forward to realizing our extensive cooperation agenda for 2024,” Jaishankar said.

In a post on X, Miller said Blinken had a “productive call” with Jaishankar, “discussing U.S.-India partnership for protecting freedom of navigation in critical waterways”.

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