Quad not on military lines, vaccine availability depends on regulatory, legal processes, Antony Blinken tells CNN-News18

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US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks with external affairs minister S Jaishankar on the situation in Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific engagements, COVID-19 response mechanism and ways to strengthen regional security.

Speaking with CNN-News18's managing editor Zakka Jacob in an exclusive interview, Blinken said that the Quad grouping is not on military lines, but like-minded democracies coming together on crucial issues of vaccine, climate change, and maritime security.

Initiated in 2007, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad is an informal grouping of the US, India, Australia and Japan. The Quad member countries have resolved to uphold a rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific amid growing Chinese assertiveness in the region.

Asked about when India will get the two US-made vaccines Moderna and Pfizer, Blinken said that there were approvals, regulatory and legal processes required for receiving vaccines.

"That's where things stand," he added.

When asked about reports of China getting involved in the Taliban matter, the US Secretary of State told the news channel, "Everyone has an interest in the peaceful resolution of the conflict. If China and other countries are working on that interest, then it's a positive thing."

On the US decision to pull troops from Afghanistan, Blinken said that Afghanistan has to be prepared to stand on its own two feet. He added that even though America was withdrawing its forces, the US government is still very much involved in helping the Afghan government and providing assistance to make sure there is peace in the region.

"We went to make sure that we would bring to justice those who attacked us, a large part of which we have achieved," Blinken added.

Speaking on India and its democratic institutions, Blinken said both India and US face challenges. Offering an example, Blinken said on such challenge is the distinction between regulating misinformation in cyberspace as opposed to political speech. "It's a thin line and we have to look at them carefully," Blinken concluded.

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