Ties between US, India 'intensified' in Biden's first 100 days in office, says official

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Published: April 30,2021 02:54 PM
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The ties between New Delhi and Washington have intensified in the first hundred days of the Biden-Harris administration, said a State Department official said here on Thursday local time.

April 30,2021: The ties between New Delhi and Washington have intensified in the first hundred days of the Biden-Harris administration, said a State Department official said here on Thursday local time.



The engagement between the two countries during this period reflects a global comprehensive partnership, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, asserting that there has been a concerted focus on India over these 100 days.



"We have engaged with India in the multilateral context as well, through the Quad, both at the ministerial level and for the first time ever at the leader level," Price said during a daily department press briefing.



"I've mentioned our climate cooperation, but also our health cooperation. And this was something that predates the pandemic, but it is something that intensified with the onset of the pandemic and intensified even further with the uptick in cases, the very concerning uptick in cases that we've seen in India in recent days," the spokesperson added.



On the subject of the Department of State issuing new guidance to American citizens in India to leave the country, Price denied the report and said that it has been misreported.



"Out of an abundance of caution, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure, so-called authorized departure, of family members of embassy - at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and the consulates throughout the country. Authorized departure doesn't force anyone to leave; it doesn't require anyone to leave. It gives these family members the option to depart if they wish. Departure, again, is not required," he said.



"There's also been I think some misreporting, perhaps a misperception, that we provided revised guidance to private American citizens in India. That is not true. There was a pro forma reissuance of the travel advisory, the level four travel advisory that had previously been in effect, given COVID not only in India but also globally as well," the spokesperson added.



On providing assistance to India fight COVID-19, Price said that Washington hoped that US assistance to India "will have a catalytic effect on society more broadly here and around the world to come to the aid of the Indian people."



On Friday, 423 oxygen cylinders with regulators and other medical supplies reached India from the US. "A strategic partnership of global significance! Our healthcare partnership can help effectively tackle the global pandemic. Deeply appreciate gift of 423 oxygen cylinders with regulators and other medical supplies from the USA," the Ministry of External Affairs wrote on Twitter.



The first of several emergency COVID-19 relief shipments from the United States has arrived in India, the US Embassy wrote in a tweet.



US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said that the United States is proud to deliver its first shipment of critical oxygen equipment, therapeutics and raw materials for vaccine production to India to tackle COVID-19 crisis.



Taking to Twitter, Blinken said that US is committed to working urgently to provide assistance to India.



US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin also said that a US Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy and a C-17 Globemaster III are en route to India carrying oxygen cylinders/regulators, rapid diagnostic kits, N95 masks, and pulse oximeters.



Several other countries including Iran, Russia, Australia, Canada, Germany, Bhutan, Norway and the EU have also extended support to India.



The surge in the COVID-19 cases continues to affect India as the country records over 3.8 lakh daily cases on Friday.


New Delhi    Washington