Trump recalls friendship with Modi; Sandhu speaks of unlimited potential between two nations.
India’s new ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, formally presented his credentials to President Donald Trump at a ceremony in the Oval Office in the White House on Thursday, Feb 6.
Warmly welcoming Sandhu, who earlier served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian embassy between 2013-2017, back to Washington DC, Trump wished him every success in his responsibilities as India’s Ambassador to the US.
Sandhu, who was posted in Colombo as India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka before coming to the US, was previously also posted as First Secretary at the Washington embassy back in 1997. He also served at India’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York between 2005-2009.
During the meeting, Trump fondly recalled his friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and their several interactions.
Sandhu conveyed warm greetings from the Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Modi to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
The vision and guidance provided by Prime Minister Modi and President Trump in the last three years have moved India and the US towards greater strategic convergence, he said.
Sandhu affirmed his commitment to work towards strengthening strategic partnership between India and the US, which is anchored in mutual trust and friendship, democratic values and people-to-people ties.
“Every time, I have come into a posting here, the time has always been challenging,” Sandhu said at a reception held at the embassy Thursday evening.
“And when I have left, things have really smoothened up,” he said. “I sincerely hope (for) that this time too, much as we read about, we hear about the challenges, I am confident that United States and India, they are basically brothers in democracy.”
“And there will never be any problems which are so deep, that two countries and two friends, like the United States and India will not be able to sit across and resolve it,” Sandhu said. “And this is based on my previous experiences here.”
“Today, we are actually looking at, unlimited potential between our two countries. There is so much that needs to be done,” he said.
Sandhu also recalled the time when he had come to the US back in the late 90s and said that there is a lot that has been covered during this time period.
“But still it is far, far away from the potential of two countries, he said. “And why not an unlimited potential when it is the largest and the oldest democracies. When it’s the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. When it’s the Silicon Valley and Bengaluru, when it’s Hollywood and Bollywood – then certainly the potential between the two of us is huge.”
“I am confident, given my earlier experiences that when we put in our best, with all your love and support, this relationship will go high and high,” Sandhu said.
India’s new envoy to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu to take charge next week (January 29, 2020)