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January 20, 2021: Briefings from South Asia



1) India announces vaccines to SAARC nations

· India announced COVID-19 vaccines under "grant assistance" to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, and Seychelles. Supplies to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Mauritius will commence soon after getting the necessary clearances.

· In its statement, the Ministry of External Affairs mentioned that "prior delivery of vaccines a training program for the logistics, healthcare and other officials were conducted for the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels."

2) "US-India have 'very strong' potential to work together."

· US Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken stated, "US-India have 'very strong' potential to work together."

· Blinken said, working on "climate" is one of the critical areas to work with India.

· On August 15, 2020, Blinken had participated in a panel discussion on Indo-US ties. He has been a foreign policy adviser for US President-elect Joe Biden for many years.

3) Foreign Secretary ask for joint efforts necessary to ensure peace in Indo-Pacific

· India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla called for collaborative efforts to ensure Indo-Pacific stability in a conference in New Delhi.

· He added that "An Indo-Pacific guided by norms and governed by rules, with freedom of navigation, open connectivity, and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, is an article of faith for India."

· French envoy to India, Emmanuel Lenain, who was also present in the event, stressed that the COVID-19 crisis was a "great accelerator to both opportunities and risks."


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