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China, Afghanistan high Blinken agenda on India, Kuwait journey

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will journey to India and Kuwait subsequent week for talks on China, the coronavirus and Afghanistan, the State Division stated Friday.

The journey comes because the Biden administration seeks to shore up U.S. management in vaccinating the world towards COVID-19, tries to blunt rising Chinese language assertiveness, and strikes to evacuate weak folks from Afghanistan earlier than the U.S. navy withdrawal is full.

The State Division stated Blinken will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday earlier than touring to Kuwait Metropolis the following day.

India is a key a part of U.S. efforts to counter China’s rising affect within the Indo-Pacific area and elsewhere. State Division spokesman Ned Value stated the agenda in Delhi would come with “COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional safety pursuits, shared democratic values, and addressing the local weather disaster.”

Blinken might be in search of India’s help in stabilizing Afghanistan after the U.S. navy withdrawal is accomplished on the finish of August, in response to Dean Thompson, the highest U.S. diplomat for South and Central Asia.

“We anticipate that each one the nations within the area have a shared curiosity in a steady and safe Afghanistan going ahead and so, we will definitely be taking a look at speaking with our Indian companions about how we are able to work collectively to comprehend that purpose,” he informed reporters.

Blinken additionally might be trying to arrange a gathering of the leaders of the so-called Quad — a gaggle that features Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. President Joe Biden hosted a digital Quad summit earlier this 12 months centered on the coronavirus pandemic and threats posed by China however is hoping to rearrange an in-person assembly by the tip of the 12 months.

In the meantime, Kuwait, together with Qatar, is considered one of a number of nations being eyed as potential hosts for 1000’s of Afghans who labored for the US and need to be relocated to the U.S. earlier than the entire withdrawal of American troops.

The Biden administration hopes to evacuate about 4,000 Afghans who served as translators and in different help roles for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and their households to American navy bases in third nations whereas their visas are processed.

That is on high of roughly 2,500 Afghans who’ve already accomplished safety vetting and might be housed on the Fort Lee Military base in Virginia pending last approval of their visas beginning subsequent week.

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