Wed, 29 Nov 2023

Washington DC [US], September 29 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his US counterpart Antony Blinken held discussions on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor and its potential to generate high-standard infrastructure investments, the US State Department said in a statement.

The two leaders held discussions on a full range of issues, including key outcomes of India's G20 presidency.

"Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar today in Washington, D.C. Secretary Blinken and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar discussed a full range of issues, including key outcomes of India's G20 presidency, and the creation of theIndia-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor and its potential to generate transparent, sustainable, and high-standard infrastructure investments," the statement read.

The two leaders also emphasized the continued importance of cooperation ahead of the upcoming 22 Dialogue, in particular in the areas of defence, space, and clean energy.

Notably, at the G20 Summit in India; India, the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.

The corridor will encourage and provide impetus to economic development through enhanced connectivity and economic integration between Asia, West Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as per sources.

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor will consist of two separate corridors, the East corridor connecting India to West Asia/Middle East and the Northern corridor connecting West Asia/Middle East to Europe.

It will include a rail line, which upon completion, will provide a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network to supplement the existing multi-modal transport routes enhancing transhipment of goods and services between South East Asia through India to West Asia/Middle East Europe.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar also participated in a discussion on India-US collaboration on critical and emerging technology, aimed at creating resilient supply chains.

The India-US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) was announced in May 2022 to elevate and expand the strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of the two countries.

iCET aims to position the two countries as trusted technology partners by building technology value chains and supporting the co-development and co-production of items. It also aims to address regulatory restrictions, export controls and mobility barriers through a standing mechanism.

India and US are expected to undertake a midterm review of iCET in September 2023 to continue to drive momentum towards the next annual iCET review, co-led by the National Security Advisors of both countries in early 2024.

The EAM also met the members of Congress, administration, business and think tank heads at India House in Washington DC.

"Our regular conversations keep India-US relationship strong," he stated on X.

Earlier in the day, Jaishankar met US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai and discussed the expanding trade and economic relationship between India and the US.

He also held a meeting with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Both sides recognized the tremendous progress in bilateral relations this year and discussed taking it forward.

The EAM also participated in a conversation with Think Tanks about India's growing role in global transformation.

Earlier on Tuesday, Jaishankar addressed the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Notably, Jaishankar is on a visit to the US from September 22-30. He will also be addressing the 4th World Culture Festival being organised by the Art of Living. (ANI)

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