The State Department has officially announced an upcoming diplomatic mission by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, where he is set to visit five countries, with his tour concluding in India for the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in November. Blinken’s itinerary comprises stops in Israel, Jordan, Japan, South Korea, and India. Notably, during his visit to India, he will be accompanied by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The mission aims to foster discussions on a range of bilateral and global issues, with a special focus on the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
Israel: Reinforcing US-Israel Relations
In Israel, Secretary Blinken plans to reiterate the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s right to self-defense against terrorism, in line with international humanitarian law. He will also engage in discussions about ensuring the safety of US citizens in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Furthermore, the agenda will include efforts to secure the immediate release of hostages, provide increased humanitarian aid to Gaza for Palestinian civilians, and prevent the escalation of conflicts.
Jordan: A Commitment to Humanitarian Aid
Secretary Blinken’s visit to Jordan will emphasize the significance of preserving civilian lives and the shared commitment to increasing and maintaining the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza. The mission also seeks to restore essential services and prevent the forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza. Discussions will revolve around taking urgent measures to halt violence, de-escalate regional tensions, and reaffirm the US commitment to working with partners to create conditions for a lasting and sustainable peace in the Middle East, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Tokyo, Seoul, and New Delhi: Strengthening Regional Cooperation
Following his visits to Israel and Jordan, Secretary Blinken will lead US delegations to Tokyo, Seoul, and New Delhi. The primary focus of these visits is to enhance cooperative efforts in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region characterized by prosperity, security, connectivity, and resilience.
In Tokyo, Secretary Blinken will participate in the second G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of 2023, building on commitments made by G7 leaders at the G7 Hiroshima Summit. He will also express gratitude to Japan for its successful G7 presidency and engage in bilateral discussions on priorities such as supporting Ukraine’s economic recovery and energy needs while strengthening cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
Seoul will be the next stop, where Secretary Blinken will meet with President Yoon Suk Yeol, Foreign Minister Park Jin, and National Security Advisor Cho Tae-yong. Discussions will encompass global challenges, including Russia’s war against Ukraine, Russia’s increasing military cooperation with the DPRK, and instability in the Middle East. The agenda also includes joint efforts to support bilateral investment and economic security.
The Secretary will reaffirm the United States’ unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan and South Korea and underscore the importance of strong and continuous trilateral engagement, building on the historic Camp David Summit in August.
The mission will culminate in New Delhi, where Secretary Blinken, joined by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III, will take part in the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. The delegation will meet with senior Indian officials to discuss both bilateral and global issues, with a particular focus on developments in the Indo-Pacific.
Secretary Blinken’s diplomatic mission underscores the United States’ commitment to strengthening relationships, fostering peace and stability, and advancing shared interests in these critical regions.