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September 16
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The top diplomats of India and the United States pledged Wednesday to expand their multilateral security partnership, underscoring the deepening of ties between two countries concerned over China’s growing influence in the region, AP reports.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met in New Delhi and sought to strengthen a regional front against Beijing’s assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific and their cooperation in Afghanistan.

“There are few relationships in the world that are more vital than one between the U.S. and India. We are the world’s two leading democracies and our diversity fuels our national strength,” Blinken said at a joint news conference.

The U.S. and India are part of the Quad regional alliance that also includes Japan and Australia and focuses on China’s growing economic and military strength. China has called the Quad an attempt to contain its ambitions.

Blinken said he and Jaishankar also discussed regional security issues including Afghanistan, where the U.S. is expected to complete its military withdrawal in August. He called India’s contribution to the stability of Afghanistan “vital.”

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