During his five-day visit to Washington, DC, on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be the first Indian cabinet member to meet with senior members of the Biden administration in person, with the likelihood of a meeting with the American president, though remote at this time.
Covid-19, a topic on everyone’s mind, and related healthcare issues are expected to be discussed, as well as a wide range of issues ranging from international to regional, such as Afghanistan, economic and strategic, representing the ever-expanding breadth of the bilateral relationship and related discussions.
On Tuesday, Jaishankar will meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York City, which will be the two leaders’ first face-to-face meeting since India began a two-year non-permanent term on the UN Security Council in January — its eighth such term overall.
The external affairs minister will spend Monday and Tuesday in New York City before flying to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday for another two days of meetings with cabinet ministers, including his counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
They’ve known each other for a long time and have a near and comfortable relationship dating back to their previous roles in the Obama administration as India’s foreign secretary and deputy secretary of state, respectively. During Jaishankar’s tenure as foreign secretary, Blinken also visited India.