Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to India and Kuwait next week for talks on China, the coronavirus and Afghanistan, the State Department said Friday. The trip comes as the Biden administration seeks to shore up U.S. leadership in vaccinating the world against COVID-19, tries to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness, and moves to evacuate vulnerable people from Afghanistan before the U.S. military withdrawal is complete. The State Department said Blinken will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday before traveling to Kuwait City the next day. India is a key part of U.S. efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the agenda in Delhi would include “COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis.” Blinken will be seeking India’s support in stabilizing Afghanistan after the U.S. military withdrawal is completed at the end of August, according to Dean Thompson, the top U.S. diplomat for South and Central Asia.

Source : U.S. NEWS

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