Jaishankar leaves on 11-day US visit tomorrow; to attend Quad, BRICS meets

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is headed to the US for 10 days, beginning Sunday, to attend meetings of Foreign ministers of Quad nations (the US, Japan and Australia), Foreign ministers of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa), and attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as New Delhi’s representative this year.

While most multilateral meetings of groupings will take place in New York from September 18 to 24, he will be in Washington DC from September 25 to 28 for bilateral meetings with senior US administration officials, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

This means he will meet Foreign minister of China Wang Yi, Russia’s Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, and his counterparts from Japan and Australia, among others, in the next two weeks.

He will also have a meeting with Foreign ministers of G-4 countries — Germany, Japan and Brazil — which are pushing for a permanent member’s seat in the UN Security Council.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, “During his visit to New York from 18 to 24 September, the External Affairs Minister will lead the India delegation for the High Level Week at the 77th Session of the UNGA. The theme of 77th UNGA is ‘A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges’.”

Jaishankar’s address at the UNGA session is scheduled in the forenoon of September 24.

In keeping with India’s “strong commitment to reformed multilateralism”, the MEA stated that Jaishankar will host a ministerial meeting of the G4 — comprising India, Brazil, Japan, Germany — and also participate in the high-level meeting of the L.69 Group on “Reinvigorating Multilateralism and Achieving Comprehensive Reform of the UN Security Council”.

“The L.69 Group consists of developing countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Caribbean and Small Island Developing States, focused on reforms of the UN Security Council,” the statement said.

In order to commemorate and showcase Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Jaishankar will address a special event — “India@75: Showcasing India UN Partnership in Action” — on September 24, which will highlight the country’s “development journey and its contributions to South-South Cooperation”, the ministry stated. The event is expected to be addressed by the president of 77th UNGA, along with Foreign ministers of several member-states, and the UNDP Administrator, it stated.

Jaishankar will also participate in “plurilateral meetings of the Quad, IBSA, BRICS, India — Presidency Pro Tempore CELAC, India-CARICOM and other trilateral formats, such as India-France-Australia, India-France-UAE and India-Indonesia-Australia. He will also have bilateral meetings with Foreign Ministers of the G20 and UNSC member-states, amongst others”, according to MEA.

The minister will meet UN Secretary General António Guterres and the 77th president of the General Assembly, Csaba Korosi.

After completion of the 77th UNGA related engagements, Jaishankar will visit Washington DC from September 25 to 28 for bilateral meetings with US interlocutors.

The MEA stated that his programme includes discussions with his counterpart US Secretary of State Antony Blinken; senior members of the US administration, US business leaders, a round-table focused on S&T and interaction with the Indian diaspora. “His visit would enable a high-level review of the multifaceted bilateral agenda and strengthen cooperation on regional and global issues to further consolidate the India-US strategic partnership,” the ministry stated.

Key meeting in NY

Participating in the BRICS Foreign ministers’ meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, will be important in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit (SCO) along with China’s President Xi Jinping in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, this week. The two leaders did not hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit. The meeting assumes significance coming as it does days after troops of the two nations completed the disengagement process at Patrolling Point-15 in Gogra-Hot Springs region of eastern Ladakh.

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