Trump attaches great importance to US-India ties: New Indian envoy

01/12/2019

Washington, Jan. 12: President Donald Trump attaches great importance to the US-India ties, India’s new Ambassador to America Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.

Shringla, a 1984-batch Indian Foreign Service diplomat, presented his diplomatic credentials to the US President at the Oval Office of the White House on Friday.

He succeeded Navtej Sarna who retired on December 31. Shringla is the youngest Indian ambassador to the US.

Reflective of the growing trust and warmth between India and the US, the new Indian envoy presented his credentials to Trump in less than 50 hours after arriving in Washington.

Such a quick credentials ceremony for a foreign diplomat is rare in the American capital, given that in the past, envoys of other countries, including those from India, have waited for weeks to formally present their diplomatic credentials.

Diplomatic credentials is a letter that formally appoints a diplomat as the ambassador to another country. The letter is addressed from one head of state to another. It is presented by the ambassador to the receiving head of state in a formal ceremony.

The ceremony further marks the beginning of the official period of ambassadorship.

At a post-credentials ceremony attended by senior officials of the Indian Embassy, the State Department and the White House, Shringla said, “Clearly the President attaches great importance to our bilateral relationship.

“He referred to his recent telephonic conversation with our prime minister (Narendra Modi) and he said he looked forward to speaking to our prime minister again in the near future.”

Shringla said Trump referred to a very wide gamut of cooperation that the two countries are engaged in, not just at the bilateral level but also as strategic partners involving the region and global areas of interest, particularly the vision of the Indo-Pacific region envisioned by the leaders of the two countries during the June 2017 visit of Prime Minister Modi.

Trump highlighted the broad range of strategic interests and fundamental democratic values shared between India and the US.

The new Indian envoy said he is amazed at the amount of progress that the US-India relationship has made in the last few years.

It is absolutely momentous and unparalleled, he said.

Shringla assured President Trump of his commitment to expand key pillars of the bilateral relationship, including economic relations and trade ties, defence and security, energy, science and technology and global issues, among others.

He was India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh till early this week, before replacing Sarna.

Graduated from the St Stephen’s College in Delhi, Shringla speaks French, Vietnamese and Nepalese apart from English and Indian languages.

During his 35-year-long diplomatic career, he held a variety of positions in New Delhi and abroad.

Apart from being the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, he had also been the ambassador to Thailand.

Shringla also served in France (UNESCO), Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York, Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City), Israel and South Africa. PTI

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