Foreign Minister S Jaishankar lands US for a discussion with officials regarding Covid-related cooperation
External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar arrived in New York on Monday as part of a visit to the United States to meet with senior US officials and discuss Covid-related cooperation between the two countries.
EAM Jaishankar was received by India's UN Ambassador, TS Tirumurti, during his first visit to New York following India's admission to the UN Security Council.
Ambassador Tirumurti tweeted, "Privilege to receive External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar on his first visit to New York since #India's admission to the UN #SecurityCouncil on January 1, 2021."
Privilege to receive External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar on his first visit to New York after #India entered the UN #SecurityCouncil on 1 January 2021. @MEAIndia @harshvshringla pic.twitter.com/08VLdInlxC— PR/Amb T S Tirumurti (@ambtstirumurti) May 23, 2021
The External Affairs Ministry announced last week that Jaishankar's visit to the United States would last until May 28.
According to the ministry, the Foreign Minister will meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York and then meet with his counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington DC.
He will also interact with Cabinet members and Senior Administration Officials involved in the bilateral partnership. "The External Affairs Minister will engage with two business forums on economic and Covid-related cooperation between India and the United States," according to a ministry release.
India is in talks with various US organisations involved in the manufacture of Covid vaccines, to procure and then manufacture these vaccines. Vaccine procurement is expected to be a major agenda item during Jaishankar's meeting with US leaders and other stakeholders.
The US has already declared that it will distribute 80 million vaccines from its stockpile to needy countries.
With India being severely impacted by the second Covid wave, New Delhi's efforts will be focused on obtaining the maximum amount of vaccine while also searching for collaborations with vaccine developers to manufacture in India.
The US has 60 million Astra Zeneca vaccine doses on hand, as well as Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines.
The US is taking the lead in assisting India in its battle against the Covid-19 virus. It has already supplied massive oxygen plants, concentrators, essential medicines such as Remdesivir, and raw materials to vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII), which produces Covishield.
Also, the US is supporting an India-sponsored TRIPS waiver plan at the WTO. The TRIPS waiver seeks to boost global vaccine production in order to meet the burden of vaccinating the poorest of the poor and saving lives.
In October of last year, India and South Africa, alongside 57 WTO members, suggested a waiver from some TRIPS requirements for coronavirus prevention, containment, and care. EAM Jaishankar met with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken, in early May in London, during the G7 Foreign Ministers' conference.