US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Tuesday (local time) said that Washington supports direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on the issues of concern. At the same time at his daily briefing to the media, Price refrained from commenting on the recent decision of the Pakistani Cabinet not to import sugar and cotton from India.
“I wouldn’t want to comment on that specifically. What I would say is that we continue to support direct dialogue between India & Pakistan on issues of concern,” said the spokesperson.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Cabinet on April 1 had rejected the proposal of a high-powered committee to import cotton and sugar from India. Price also discussed TRIPS waiver for COVID-19 vaccines. India and South Africa have reached out to WTO for TRIPS waiver of certain COVID-19 vaccines. 60 Congressmen in the US have also written a letter to President Joe Biden in support of the cause. However, some US companies are opposing it Putting on Biden administration position on it, Price said, “Well, I don’t have anything specific to preview or to add on our position at the WHO. I think what is – it is safe to say that the President is deeply focused, Secretary Blinken is deeply focused, on the issue of expanding global vaccine manufacturing and delivery, which, of course, will be critical to ending this pandemic.” Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday (local time) had said that the first priority of the American Government was to take care of the American people. The US has suffered more deaths in this country than any other country around the world due to the unpredictability of coronavirus. “The surges, the spikes that we have seen here, the mutations that we can continue to see take hold, not only here but around the world, we need to be prepared for a variety of scenarios. And that is precisely what we are doing,” said Price.
US is looking for sharing COVID-19 doses globally, including through Gavi and the COVAX Advance Market Commitment or the AMC. “We committed to providing the most funding to COVAX of any other country in the world – USD 2 billion initially, another 2 billion over time. We have, of course, spoken about the arrangement that we have reached with our Mexican and Canadian partners. And we announced with our Quad partners that we’re working to achieve expanded manufacturing of safe and effective vaccines at facilities in India,” added Price.