China, Afghanistan top Blinken agenda on India, Kuwait trip

Jul 23, 2021, 9:31 AM | Updated: 9:46 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to India and Kuwait next week for talks on China, the coronavirus and Afghanistan, the State Department said Friday.

The trip comes as the Biden administration seeks to shore up U.S. leadership in vaccinating the world against COVID-19, tries to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness, and moves to evacuate vulnerable people from Afghanistan before the U.S. military withdrawal is complete.

The State Department said Blinken will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday before traveling to Kuwait City the next day.

India is a key part of U.S. efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the agenda in Delhi would include “COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis.”

Blinken will be seeking India’s support in stabilizing Afghanistan after the U.S. military withdrawal is completed at the end of August, according to Dean Thompson, the top U.S. diplomat for South and Central Asia.

“We expect that all the countries in the region have a shared interest in a stable and secure Afghanistan going forward and so, we will certainly be looking at talking with our Indian partners about how we can work together to realize that goal,” he told reporters.

Blinken also will be looking to set up a meeting of the leaders of the so-called Quad — a group that includes Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. President Joe Biden hosted a virtual Quad summit earlier this year focused on the coronavirus pandemic and threats posed by China but is hoping to arrange an in-person meeting by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Kuwait, along with Qatar, is one of several countries being eyed as possible hosts for thousands of Afghans who worked for the United States and want to be relocated to the U.S. before the complete withdrawal of American troops.

The Biden administration hopes to evacuate about 4,000 Afghans who served as translators and in other support roles for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and their families to American military bases in third countries while their visas are processed.

That’s on top of roughly 2,500 Afghans who have already completed security vetting and will be housed at the Fort Lee Army base in Virginia pending final approval of their visas starting next week.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - The logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the entrance hall of Google France in Paris, ...
Associated Press

Google appeals huge Android antitrust fine to EU’s top court

LONDON (AP) — Google is challenging a record European Union antitrust fine that took aim at the Android operating system’s role in restricting mobile competition and consumer choice. The company said Thursday that it filed the appeal against the 4.125 billion euro ($4.3 billion) penalty “because there are areas that require legal clarification from the […]
6 hours ago
An ambulance is parked outside St Thomas' Hospital, in London, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. Some 10000 a...
Associated Press

UK ambulance service struggles in winter health care crisis

LONDON (AP) — Thousands of patients each week are being stranded for long stretches in ambulances outside overflowing British hospitals, a growing crisis that has likely contributed to scores of deaths, health care leaders said Thursday. The U.K.’s ambulance service is seizing up in some areas as the country’s health system faces an inferno of […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Is now the right time for your business to buy real estate?

For small businesses hoping to establish or expand their brick-and-mortar presence, it may seem like a bad time to sink cash into a commercial property purchase. Amid predictions of an upcoming recession, the Federal Reserve increased the federal funds rate for the sixth time in 2022, citing inflation risks and global conflict. Inevitably, this will […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

African continent finally to receive 1st mpox vaccines

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Africa’s top public health body says the continent is set to receive its first batch of mpox vaccines as a donation from South Korea. The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday the 50,000 doses will be used first for health workers and people living in the hardest-hit areas. […]
6 hours ago
FILE - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a meeting with governors and heads of R...
Associated Press

Russian FM: US, NATO directly involved in Ukraine conflict

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s foreign minister on Thursday accused the West of becoming directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine by supplying it with weapons and training its soldiers. Sergey Lavrov also said that Russia’s strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities and other key infrastructure that have left millions without power, heating and water were intended […]
6 hours ago
This aerial image courtesy of Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources shows lava flows on Mauna ...
Associated Press

Prayers? Bombs? Hawaii history shows stopping lava not easy

HONOLULU (AP) — Prayer. Bombs. Walls. Over the decades, people have tried all of them to stanch the flow of lava from Hawaii’s volcanoes as it lumbered toward roads, homes and infrastructure. Now Mauna Loa — the world’s largest active volcano — is erupting again, and lava is slowly approaching a major thoroughfare connecting the […]
6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
China, Afghanistan top Blinken agenda on India, Kuwait trip