Washington: Stating that there is no limit to the India-US relationship, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that today, New Delhi and Washington see each other as desirable, optimal, comfortable partners. The foreign minister was addressing the people of the Indian diaspora at the ‘Colors of Friendship’ event at India House in Washington DC. Hundreds of diaspora members gathered at the lawns of the official residence of India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu, in honour of Jaishankar, listening and watching performances by local artists.
At the event, Jaishankar said, “I am often asked, where do you think this relationship (India-US) is going…now it’s hard for me today, really, to put a limit on it, to define it, to even voice expectations, because in every way…this relationship has exceeded expectations, which is why today we don’t even try to define it. We actually keep raising the bar”.
“We keep finding new domains, the more we do with each other, the more we find we are able to do, explore together and achieve together,” he added.
Emphasising “chemistry and comfort”, Jaishankar said that today India and the US have come up as “desirable, optimal and comfortable” partners. “In this changing world…I would say, today, India and the United States have moved to a position where we really see each other as very desirable, optimal partners, comfortable partners, with whom it’s a natural instinct today…So, the chemistry and the comfort today of the relationship gives me enormous hope about where the prospects are,” he said.
Several senior officials of the Biden administration including; US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma, President Biden’s domestic policy advisor Neera Tanden, and Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Dr Rahul Gupta were part of the reception.
US lawmakers Shri Thanedar and Rick McCormik, Democrat and Republican, were present at the event.
Just days away from Gamdhi Jayanti, Jaishankar paid floral
Tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and made several remarks about the legacy of Gandhi.
Referring to India’s G20 presidency, the EAM stated that India’s G20 presidency revolved around the message of Mahatma Gandhi, which focusses on doing the right thing and leaving no one behind.
“We are approaching Gandhi Jayanti, I would like to leave you a thought. To say he (Mahatma Gandhi) was an extraordinary man would be the understatement of this century. He said so many things so tellingly…The message at the end of the day was about doing the right thing, about doing the decent thing and about leaving no one behind. Gandhi Ji’s message is very complicated, but its essence is actually very, very simple,” Jaishankar said.
He added, “When we took up the G20 presidency, the responsibility. In many ways, that message was at the heart of our thinking…What we tried to do in G20, the underlying thinking, reflected what we are trying to do in India, what I think many Americans are trying to do in America, what we India and America should be doing with the world, which is to leave no one behind”.
Jaishankar is on a visit to the US from September 22-30. He addressed the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He also held meetings with several top US officials during his visit.