Melbourne: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken here ahead of a crucial meeting of Quad foreign ministers and reviewed the bilateral ties, saying progress in different domains of Indo-US relations was positive.

Jaishankar, who is visiting Australia from February 10 to 13 in his first trip to the country as external affairs minister, attended the 4th Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting along with the foreign ministers of Australia, Japan and the United States.

A review of our bilateral cooperation with @SecBlinken. The readout on progress in different domains was positive. Our strategic partnership has deepened so visibly, Jaishankar said on Twitter.

In his talks with Blinken, the External Affairs Minister discussed a range of bilateral as well as global issues.

The two ministers are expected to exchange views on regional strategic issues given their shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, amidst China’s aggressive behaviour in the region.

Australian Foreign Minister Payne, who is hosting the Quad foreign ministers’ meeting, said that she was looking forward to welcoming her counterparts from India, the US and Japan to “discuss our positive and ambitious agenda in support of a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific”.

It will be attended by Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa along with Jaishankar and Blinken. The meeting is expected to focus on significantly shoring up cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

It will be the third in-person meeting of Quad foreign ministers, following their meeting in Tokyo in October 2020 and the inaugural meeting in New York in September 2019.

The ministers last held talks virtually in February last year.

In March last year, US President Joe Biden hosted the first-ever summit of the Quad leaders in the virtual format that was followed by an in-person summit in Washington in September for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had travelled to the US.

The Quad has been focusing cooperation in areas such as producing vaccines, connectivity projects, facilitating the mobility of students, and looking at promoting startups and technology collaboration.

The Quad vaccine partnership was announced in March last year with an aim to deliver one billion doses of vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region by the end of 2022.

It is learnt that there has been good progress under this initiative.

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