Washington: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hold a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Melbourne next week during the Quad Foreign Ministers Ministerial Meeting.
"In Australia on February 9-12, Secretary Blinken will attend the fourth Quad Foreign Ministers Ministerial Meeting, hosted by Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne," said the US State Department in a statement on Thursday (local time).
"Secretary Blinken will meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Foreign Minister Payne, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and other senior officials to discuss a range of bilateral and global priorities. The Secretary will also engage with students, scholars, and technology leaders in Melbourne," added the State Department.
Further, it said that "with our Quad partners, we are delivering results for our populations and the region, including by advancing cooperation on COVID-19 vaccination delivery, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, maritime security, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, countering disinformation, climate change, and critical and emerging technologies."
Blinken will travel to Australia, Fiji, and Hawaii from February 7-13 to engage with Indo-Pacific allies and partners to advance peace, resilience, and prosperity across the region and demonstrate that these partnerships deliver.
In Fiji on February 12, Secretary Blinken will meet with Pacific Island leaders to discuss the climate crisis, ending the COVID-19 pandemic, disaster assistance, and ways to further our shared commitment to democracy, regional solidarity, and prosperity in the Pacific.
The Secretary also will meet with Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama to discuss deepening bilateral engagement and ways to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific. This will be the first visit by a Secretary of State to Fiji since 1985.