Declining to indulge in ‘political politics’, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaisahankar refused to respond to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of India’s ‘vaccine diplomacy’, during his visit to the USA.
While addressing the media after his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday (local time), Dr Jaisahankar was asked to comment on Oppositions’, especially Rahul Gandhi’s, criticism of ‘vaccine diplomacy’. In reply, the Minister said, “This is an American visit, this is a serious thing which we are discussing. I’m not here to exchange political politics. I don’t do that when I leave the country and I expect other people to understand.”
Yesterday, the Congress leader had slammed the External Affairs Minister for doing ‘vaccine diplomacy’ and said that by not vaccinating the maximum number of people in the country, the government is giving space for the Coronavirus to mutate.
Talking about importing US FDA-approved vaccines to India, the Minister said there was a discussion about the possibilities and both India and the US have shown a willingness to the prospect.
“I think President Biden himself had said this that the United States would be willing to send out a certain number of vaccines. We have also indicated a willingness to import vaccines that have been cleared by the US FDA. There was a discussion about such possibilities, but this is a decision the administration has to make. So, I presume they will make the decision at the time when they are ready. It’s their vaccines and it’s their decision to make,” he said.
The Minister informed that one of the reasons for his visit was to show appreciation for the very strong solidarity that the US showed during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and to work with the US on the vaccine production issue.
“The United States in terms of the supply chain of vaccines is absolutely indispensable. In many meetings that issue, in some form or other came up. Our endeavour is to expand the production of vaccines in India. We want to work with the US to make that possible,” he said.
(With ANI Inputs)