Terming the India-US ties one of the most defining partnerships, several top Biden administration officials praised External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar’s commitment to this bond, calling him the “architect” of modern US-India relations.
These accolades came during a special reception hosted by India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, in honour of EAM S Jaishankar.
The event was attended by notable figures from the Biden administration, including US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma, President Biden’s domestic policy advisor Neera Tanden, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Dr Rahul Gupta, and Director of the National Science Foundation Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan.
Mr Jaishankar was on a visit to the US from September 22 to September 30 during which he addressed the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. In Washington, Mr Jaishankar met several top US officials including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ambassador Katherine Tai and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Veteran diplomat Richard Verma emphasised the role of hard-working Indian Americans who have built the US-India ties and said, “It’s one of the most consequential relationships of this century. Do we have disagreements? You bet. Will we have bumps in the road? Of course. But two close friends aligned with these shared values, bonded together by the great ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King…this is a partnership with staying power, with real impact, and that will continue to have an outside influence in the world.”
The former envoy also praised Mr Jaishankar as the architect behind the modern US-India relationship and exuded confidence that US-India strategic ties have enhanced under his watch.
“I have also known (Jaishankar) for a long time over many capacities, and who I can also say, he is the architect of modern US-India relations. We would not be in the strong place that we are today, but for the external affairs minister, your leadership,” Mr Verma said in his public address.
At the “Colors of Friendship” event in Washington DC, Mr Jaishankar addressed members of the Indian community, underscoring the importance of people-to-people connections in building stronger bilateral ties.
Hundreds of community members from across the United States also participated in the event. Giving credit to the Indian Americans, Mr Jaishankar noted the importance of people-to-people connections in building stronger bilateral ties and that the Indian community was a “bridge between the two nations.
Biden’s top advisor, a prominent Indian American in the White House, Neera Tandon said that it’s important that India and the US have a strong person-to-person, community-to-community leader relationship based on the strength of the community and today the Indian Americans are throughout the administration at prominent positions.
“In fact, you can’t throw a stone in the White House and not hit an Indian American these days,” Neera Tandon told the community.
“Our community has honestly matured and recognized that we can participate and contribute in so many ways. And I think it is the strength of that relationship and the strength of the democratic participation that we are part of, that really builds on the US-India relationship. And it is an honour to be here with the foreign minister, Jaishankar, who’s a great leader across so many issues and has recognized for years the important strength of the community,” she said.
Talking about the Indian Ambassador to the US, Mr Sandhu, Neera Tandon said “He’s one of the strongest ambassadors India has ever had. He is a real and fierce advocate for the US-India relationship and more importantly, an advocate for the US-India partnership.”
Ahead of Gandhi Jayanti, Mr Jaishankar also paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi in the US. He and other guests made several remarks about the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.
Referring to the message of Satyagraha, Dr Rahul Gupta said, “Today we’re honouring the upcoming 104th birthday anniversary of what’s also known as the International Day of Non-violence of Gandhiji. What becomes important to me, as think about it, is to think about where in the United States, we have had few leaders who have embodied the work of Mahatma Gandhi. But I think there’s a lot more that people from the Indian community can do to spread the word. So it becomes important once again to reflect upon the core values of Mahatma Gandhi, truth, Satyagraha.”
US lawmakers Shri Thanedar and Rick McCormick, Democrat and Republican, were present at the event.
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