Anthony Blinken, likely secretary of state, is positive on US-India ties

By hindustan times

US President-elect Joe Biden is expected to appoint Anthony Blinken, a long-time national security and foreign policy expert who has been enthusiastic about ties with India and called China a “common challenge”, as his secretary of state, US media reported.

Jake Sullivan, a former top state department official in the Obama-Biden administration, is reported to be a frontrunner for the position of National Security Adviser. Michele Flournoy and Lael Brainard are top contenders for secretaries of defence and treasury.

Vivek Murthy, the Indian American who was President Barack Obama’s Surgeon General, is in contention for the position of secretary of health and human services. He is currently a co-chair of Biden’s team of advisers tasked with preparing the incoming administration’s Covid-19 plan.

Biden’s incoming chief of staff Ron Klain told ABC News on Sunday the president-elect will name some of his cabinet secretaries on Tuesday.

But he did not specify how many and which ones. But names began trickling out hours later that, according to a pattern noticed to be true for the incoming administration, have tended to be remarkably on target.

Blinken, who served as deputy secretary of state in the Obama-Biden administration, had been a frontrunner for the position of Biden’s top diplomat. He was also Biden campaign’s chief foreign policy official who also determined — among other things — the order in which the president-elect returned congratulatory calls from world leaders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first leaders of non-treaty allied countries Biden called, along with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

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