EAM Jaishankar, Blinken discuss Red Sea attacks, Gaza

The leaders also discussed Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

New York: The United States has welcomed the “increased cooperation” with India in defending freedom of navigation in the Red Sea as the two countries discussed “shared concerns” over the reckless Houthi attacks in the region.

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Thursday 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”.

State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement that Blinken emphasised 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”.

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

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

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

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

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

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