Shringla meets top US officials
In the wake of the disastrous pullout of US troops from Afghanistan, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla met several senior officials in Washington in early September to discuss the situation in the war-torn nation. The roster of officials Mr Shringla met included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. The meetings came amid unease among US partners and allies over the American retreat from Afghanistan and the chaos it has left behind.
Amid the uncertainties, Colin Kahl, the Under Secretary of Defense, reaffirmed at their meeting on Friday that “the strength of the defence relationship between the US and India”, which is the only designated US major defence partner, Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon said.
Mr Pahon said that Mr Shringla and Mr Kahl “underscored their commitment to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation to sustain a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region and “a range of regional issues of shared interest”.
Defence cooperation in the Western Indian Ocean region, which stretches to Africa also figured in their talks, he added. India and the US share fears and dilemmas over the capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban, which has had a hostile relationship with the two countries, and the shifts in the strategic situation that could potentially further China’s and Pakistan’s objectives in the region.