New Delhi: The Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM), S. Jaishankar, is commencing his visit to the United States of America, spanning from September 22 to September 30, 2023. During this visit, EAM Jaishankar will undertake several significant engagements, as detailed in an official release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The primary highlight of EAM Jaishankar's visit is his participation in the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Session in New York, focusing on the high-level week from September 22 to September 26. EAM Jaishankar will be leading the Indian delegation and will address the UNGA session on September 26. In line with India's commitment to the Global South, EAM Jaishankar will host a special event titled 'India-UN for Global South: Delivering for Development' during the UNGA session.
The MEA release further elaborated on EAM Jaishankar's itinerary, stating that he will partake in various plurilateral and bilateral meetings during his visit. Additionally, he is scheduled to hold meetings with key dignitaries, including UN Secretary-General H.E. Mr. António Guterres and H.E. Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly. Beyond his UNGA engagements, EAM Jaishankar's visit will also encompass bilateral discussions with his US counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken. These bilateral meetings will take place in Washington D.C. from September 27 to September 30. During this period, EAM Jaishankar will engage with senior members of the US administration, prominent US business leaders, and influential think tanks.
Notably, the MEA release highlighted that EAM Jaishankar will participate in the 4th World Culture Festival organized by the Art of Living, emphasizing India's cultural outreach. The visit of EAM Jaishankar to the United States coincides with diplomatic tensions between India and Canada following the murder of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The United States has expressed its deep concern regarding this issue and is actively engaged with Canadian and Indian authorities in monitoring developments.
Furthermore, US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan emphasized the US stance on standing up for and defending basic principles. Despite being a close partner of India, the United States does not make "special exceptions" in this regard. Therefore, Washington will collaborate closely with Ottawa on the investigations into the killing of Khalistan activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, underscoring the US commitment to resolving the matter thoroughly and impartially.
"I am not going to get into private diplomatic conversations that have either already happened or going to happen on this topic only to say that we have been and will be in contact with the Indians at high levels on this issue. It is a matter of concern for us, this is something we take very seriously, this is something we will keep working on, and we will do that regardless of the country," said NSA Sullivan during a media conference in the United States.