US State Secretary Antony Blinken has said the US has deepened its partnership with India. He said the country has elevated cooperation with India, Japan and Australia through the Quad. “We’ve deepened our partnership with India. We’ve elevated cooperation through the Quad with India, Japan, Australia,” the US State Secretary said in his remarks at an end-of-year press availability on December 20(US local time).
The Quad is a diplomatic network between Australia, India, Japan and the US. According to a press release issued by the US State Department, Blinken said the US’ partnerships in the Indo-Pacific have never been stronger.
He said the US is “working with the United Kingdom and Australia to produce nuclear-powered submarines. We launched new comprehensive strategic partnerships with Vietnam and Indonesia, a new Defense Cooperation Agreement with the Philippines, new trilateral initiatives with the Philippines and Japan, new embassies in the Solomon Islands and Tonga.”
The US State Secretary further said that the US is more closely aligned than ever with the G7, with the EU, and with other allies and partners on the challenges presented by Beijing.
“We’re working together to address them. We’re deepening cooperation and coordination between NATO and our Indo-Pacific allies. These efforts have allowed us to engage more effectively when tackling areas of concern, like China’s coercive trade and economic practises, peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the East and South China Seas, and human rights,” he said.
On the Israel-Hamas conflict, Blinken said the US will continue to focus intensely on its core priorities: “helping Israel ensure that what happened on October 7 can never happen again, bringing the conflict to an end as quickly as possible while minimising the loss of life and the suffering of civilians, getting the remaining hostages back home to their families, preventing the conflict from spreading, and once and for all breaking the devastating cycle of violence and moving towards durable, lasting peace.”
“We continue to believe that Israel does not have to choose between removing the threat of Hamas and minimising the toll on civilians in Gaza. It has an obligation to do both and it has a strategic interest to do both,” he said.
Blinken further said that the US is more determined than ever to ensure that “out of this horrific tragedy comes a moment of possibility for Israelis, for Palestinians, for the region to live in lasting peace and lasting security; that out of this darkness comes light.” “Realising that possibility will require all parties to make tough choices about the steps that they’re willing to take, including the United States. We will test this proposition with the urgency and creativity that it deserves and that America’s interests demand.”
He said that this is the spirit that has long animated US President Biden in the face of seemingly intractable conflicts.
(with inputs from ANI)