Top US diplomat arrives, holds talks with Jaishankar, Shringla
Top US diplomat Stephen Biegun arrived here on Monday and met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to exchange views on the regional situation and deepen the bilateral strategic cooperation, said the Ministry of External Affairs.
The import of the US Deputy Secretary of State’s visit goes beyond the fact that he arrives within a week of Jaishankar meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Tokyo. Biegun is also slated to travel to Bangladesh to lend muscle to efforts by India, Japan and others to minimise Chinese influence in Dhaka, said sources.
In the last Indo-US interaction by videoconference, he had said the US strategy is to push back against China in” virtually every domain”.
With Shringla, Biegun participated in the opening session of the 4th India-US Forum.
Biegun had earlier chaired weekly conversations between foreign Secretaries of six Asia Pacific countries that included Shringla. The other countries were Japan, Australia, South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand, all of whom are now being informally called “Quad Plus”.
He will also prepare for the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue later this year.
Biegun will also deliver keynote remarks at the India-US Forum. His engagements in Bangladesh will focus on advancing the vision of an inclusive and secure Indo-Pacific region, cooperation on Covid response and recovery efforts and sustainable economic development.