Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar presents his credentials to Obama at the White House

US and India could accomplish a lot together: Obama.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: The Indian Ambassador to the US, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, formally presented his credentials to President Barack Obama, at the Oval Office in the White House, on Monday.

Ambassador S. Jaishankar (Courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Beijing, China).
Ambassador S. Jaishankar (Courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Beijing, China).

Although Jaishankar has been in the US since December, and has been essaying the duties of India’s head liaison to the US, the presenting of credentials by an ambassador to his posting’s head of state is a formality that each ambassador must go through.

“The presentation of credentials is a traditional ceremony that marks the formal beginning of an Ambassador’s service in Washington,” said a statement from the White House.

The event was closed to the press, but the Embassy of India released a statement saying that “President Obama warmly welcomed Ambassador Jaishankar to Washington and wished him success in his responsibilities as India’s next Ambassador to the United States” and that “The President said that US and India could accomplish a lot together.”

Jaishankar’s first couple of months in his new position have been marred by controversy, as tensions between the US and India continue to boil over a series of issues such as the arrest of Devyani Khobragade, the continued sanctions placed on India’s pharmaceutical and aviation industry by US agencies, and the case against India’s solar program that the US launched with the World Trade Organization.

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In a speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs last month, Jaishankar reiterated his faith in the US-India bilateral relationship, and said that it was important to disregard the animosity brewed up by the media in order to focus on the more important components of the countries’ partnership.

“Indo-US ties need to be worked upon at different planes,” said Jaishankar. “There are pressing issues on the immediate agenda which require more give and take. But while doing so, we must not lose sight of the larger connect that provides an enabling environment where more ambitious visions could unfold. That is certainly my operational plan and I would like to believe that people here are equally positive.”

For his part, Jaishankar “assured President Obama 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” at the presentation of credentials.

First Lady Michelle Obama was also present during the ceremony.

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