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Trump calls India a true friend, highlights steps taken to boost ties

Diplomat Alice Wells' remarks came at a farewell reception hosted by the State Department in honour of the outgoing Indian Ambassador to Navtej Singh Sarna

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

calls a "true friend", a top American has said as she highlighted the steps taken by the US over the last two years to strengthen its ties with for the benefit of a broader Indo Pacific region.

Principal Deputy Assistant of State for South and Alice Wells' remarks came at a farewell reception hosted by the State Department in honour of the outgoing Indian to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna.

"Trump calls a true friends and (of State Mike) Pompeo has characterise the US-India bilateral relationship as one deeply bound by our shared values," she said.

Top officials of the State Department and the were present at the farewell reception for Sarna held at the historic Blair House, which is the official guest house of the US It is quite rare that the is used for a State Department farewell reception for an outgoing

The US tenure of Sarna, who is retiring from Indian foreign service after an illustrious career of 38 years, has been extraordinary, Wells told the select audience.

Sarna took charge as India's to the US on November 5, 2016.

"Over the last two years, we have been able to host (Narendra) here in for a successful summit with President Trump," Wells said.

During Sarna's tenure, the two countries have inaugurated a new 2 +2 Dialogue to elevate their cooperation on security and strategic priorities for the benefit of their people and for the benefit of a broader Indo Pacific region where the leadership of the two nations matters so much.

"Under your leadership in our countries have negotiated and finalised a and security agreement, which makes our military cooperation more profound and advanced. We have also taken significant steps to build on India's status as a US defense partner, including elevating India to strategic trade authorization, tier one status, Wells said.

"In your engagements with Americans across the country and also with the more than three million Indian Americans and this incredibly vibrant business leaders, the students, the technologist, the artist, you really helped bring our people in other countries together," she said as she praised Sarna.

Sarn said that the successful visit of in June 2017 was the high point of his term here in DC.

"The fact that the outcomes were so strong from the visit, the personal chemistry between and President trump was so, so evident and the joint statement that we came out with really set the chart for the months to follow," the Indian said.

Listing some of the highlights of his posting in US, Sarna said "today we can look back on and say that, well, yes, we are truly strategic global partners".

"We have found a huge amount of understanding for our political space, for our strategic autonomy, for the needs of our economy, for our role, for our taking into account our art history and our regional position vis a vis several other countries," he said.

"I think this entire process of building the bilateral relationship has been to work with each other to find while each country fulfils its national objectives the US as well as India at the same time, we find ways and means of growing together," he said.

First Published: Fri, December 14 2018. 11:45 IST