Several top officials of the Biden administration termed India-US ties as one of the defining partnerships and praised External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar’s commitment to this bond, calling him the ‘architect’ of modern relations between the US and India.
These awards came at a special reception hosted by Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu in honor 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 National Science Foundation Director Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan.
Mr Jaishankar was on a visit to the US from September 22 to 30, where 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 Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Highlighting the role of hardworking Indian Americans in building US-India ties, veteran diplomat Richard Verma said, “It is one of the most consequential relationships of this century. Do we have disagreements? Count on it. Will we have bumps in the future? Naturally. But two good friends united behind these shared values, bound together by the great ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King…this is a partnership with lasting power, with real impact, and it will continue to be an outside influence in the world.”
The former envoy also praised Mr. Jaishankar as the architect behind the modern US-India relationship and expressed confidence that US-India strategic ties have strengthened under his watch.
“I have also known (Jaishankar) for a long time in many capacities, and I can also say that he is the architect of modern US-India relations. We would not be in the strong position where we are today, but if the External Affairs Minister, your leadership,” 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 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 adviser, a prominent Indian American in the White House, Neera Tandon, said it is important that India and the US have a strong people-to-people and community-to-community leadership relationship based on the strength of community and today . Indian Americans hold prominent positions within the government.
“In fact, you can’t throw a rock at the White House these days without hitting an Indian American,” 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’s the strength of that relationship and the strength of the democratic participation that we’re a part of that really builds on the US-India And it’s an honor to be here with the Secretary of State, Jaishankar, who has been a great leader on so many issues and has recognized the important power of community for years,” she said.
About Indian Ambassador to US Mr Sandhu, Neera Tandon said, “He is one of the strongest ambassadors India has ever had. He is a true and fierce advocate for the US-India relationship and, more importantly, an advocate for the US. Indian Partnership.”
Ahead of Gandhi Jayanti, Mr. Jaishankar also paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi in the US. He and other guests made several comments about Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy.
Referring to the message of Satyagraha, Dr. Rahul Gupta said, “Today we celebrate the upcoming 104th anniversary of what is also known as Gandhiji’s International Day of Non-Violence. What becomes important to me, when I 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 is a lot more that people from the Indian community can do to spread the message. So it becomes important again to reflect on 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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