US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday (11 January) spoke with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to discuss several issues including Houthi attacks on merchant ships and Gaza conflict.
"The Secretary and External Affairs Minister discussed the United States and India’s shared concerns over reckless Houthi attacks in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, which threaten the free flow of commerce, endanger innocent mariners, and violate international law," US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.
The two leaders also affirmed their maritime cooperation in the region.
"The Secretary emphasized the Red Sea is a major commercial corridor that facilitates international trade and welcomed increased cooperation with India in defending freedom of navigation in the region," the statement added.
Further, the two leaders also discussed the Israel-Hamas conflict, efforts to prevent the conflict’s escalation and increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.
The two leaders also discussed the developments related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In a post on X, Jaishankar wrote that the conversation between the two leaders focused on maritime security challenges, especially the Red Sea region.
The EAM said that he appreciated Blinken's insights on ongoing situation in West Asia, including Gaza.
In the recent days, Houthi rebels in Yemen have increased the attacks on ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
The US Centcom on Thursday said that the Iranian-backed Houthis fired an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen into international shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden.
"One commercial vessel reported visually observing the missile impact the water; however, there were no injuries or damage reported," it said.
This is the 27th Houthi attack on international shipping since Novembe 2019, the US Centcom added.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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