New York: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had an active and packed first day of bilateral and multilateral meetings with his global counterparts and exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties and issues of common concern as he arrived here for the high-level UN General Assembly session.
Jaishankar hit the ground running shortly after landing in New York early Friday morning, beginning his hectic schedule for the day with the Quad Foreign Ministers meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa.
A joint readout of the Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting issued after the meeting reaffirmed the group’s “unwavering support for the United Nations, the enduring importance of upholding mutually determined rules, norms, and standards, and to deepen Quad cooperation in the international system”.
Jaishankar held bilateral discussions with Kamikawa, Japan’s new top diplomat and exchanged perspectives on “our Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
“Delighted to meet Foreign Minister of Japan Yoko Kamikawa at #UNGA78. Discussed our regional, multilateral and global cooperation and taking them forward,” Jaishankar said on X.
A warm discussion with Quad colleagues to start my #UNGA78 participation. Welcomed Japanese FM Yoko Kamikawa to the meeting.
Discussed defending the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific and delivering on Quad commitments.
Always value our collective… pic.twitter.com/g1pDdIpQ8e
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) September 22, 2023
Jaishankar also met Wong for bilateral discussions. “Great to catch up with FM @SenatorWong of Australia on #UNGA78 sidelines. Noted the positive trajectory of our ties and discussed specific steps to take them further. Our exchange of regional and global assessments are always valuable.”
Later, he held discussions with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira under the IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) grouping.
“A very productive IBSA meeting with Foreign Ministers Mauro Vieira and Naledi Pandor on #UNGA78 sidelines. The Joint Communique demonstrates the strength of our South-South solidarity,” he said.
In a heartwarming gesture, Pandor and Vieira applauded and congratulated India when Jaishankar told them about the passage of the landmark Women’s Reservation Bill in the Indian Parliament.
In his bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Jaishankar said he had a “good conversation on connectivity, economic linkages and regional dynamics”.
Later in the day, Jaishankar met the UK Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the United Nations at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Lord Tariq Ahmad.
“A useful stocktaking of our relationship. Also discussed recent developments pertaining to Ukraine,” he said.
“An active first day at the 78th UNGA,” Jaishankar said, tweeting a video that highlighted the day’s meetings and engagements.