Top retired US Army general praises Jaishankar for boosting Indo-US ties

Top retired US Army general praises Jaishankar for boosting Indo-US ties

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Top retired US Army general praises Jaishankar for boosting Indo-US ties

A top retired US Army general Thursday praised India’s new External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for his role in strengthening the strategic bilateral ties.

General (Retd) David H Petraeus, who served as CIA director during Barack Obama’s presidency in the US in 2011-12, said India was poised for a breakout “Modi moment” during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term in office after a “remarkable electoral result”.

He was speaking at ‘How should the world view India’ session at the Leaders’ Summit during UK-India Week in Buckinghamshire near London.

“There is trade friction with President [Trump] focussed a great deal on deficits; but the importance of US-India relationship is at a stage when it does not matter whether it is a Republican or Democrat President in place,” he said.

Petraeus praised Jaishankar, whom he has worked in his past assignments with the administration, for his role in strengthening the strategic ties between India and the US.

Former foreign secretary S Jaishankar is a seasoned diplomat who was the Indian government’s pointsman for China and the US.

Jaishankar, son of late K Subrahmanyam, one of India’s leading strategic analysts, was a key member of the Indian team which negotiated the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal.

Petraeus also highlighted the need for the UK to move beyond the “nostalgia” of the past and acknowledge that India is now poised for a breakout “Modi moment” during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term in office after a “remarkable electoral result”.

The last set of sessions of the two-day Leaders’ Summit, organised by UK-based media house India Inc. as part of the annual UK-India Week, concluded with discussions and debates around India’s technological advances, the opportunities for the UK and India to work together in Africa and disruptive leadership models.

“I am sure attendees will come away from this week with fresh insight and innovative ideas, which will help steer collaboration between the UK and India into the future,” said UK foreign secretary and Prime Ministerial contender Jeremy Hunt, in his message for the event.

The ties between India and the US are under strain due to a host of trade and economic issues.

India has raised tariffs on 28 items, including almond, pulses and walnut, exported from the US in retaliation to America’s withdrawal of preferential access for Indian products.

The Trump administration wants Prime Minister Modi to lower the trade barriers and embrace “fair and reciprocal” trade.
President Trump, championing his ‘America First’ policy has been a vocal critic of India for levying “tremendously high” duties on US products, has described the country as a “tariff king”.