India-US ties: Outgoing Indian Ambassador meets Trump, thanks him
Shringla is scheduled to take up the next assignment as India's Foreign Secretary on January 29.
Outgoing Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla called on President Donald Trump at the White House and thanked him for his "steadfast" support for boosting the strategic bilateral ties. Experts termed the gesture “a reflection of the significance Trump attaches to the India-US partnership”.
Shringla, 57, is scheduled to take up the next assignment as India's Foreign Secretary on January 29.
"Amb Harsh Shringla, who is proceeding to New Delhi to take up his assignment as Foreign Secretary, called on Trump at Oval Office of the White House and thanked him for his steadfast support for strengthening the India-US strategic partnership," the Indian Embassy in Washington DC tweeted on Sunday.
It is probably the first time that a US President has met an outgoing Indian Ambassador.
Shringla played a crucial role in bringing the India-US relationship back on track, especially in the second half of the year.
"I give Harsh Shringla great credit for his tireless pursuit in taking the India-US relations to a new dimension by prudently navigating the highly partisan and complicated US political arena called the US Congress. That's what I would call a real Champion Diplomat," New York-based Al Mason, who is an expert on global real estate investment and education, said after attending the farewell that Shringla hosted at his India House on Friday.
"He has been one of the most charismatic, persuasive and result-oriented diplomat representing India in the US. He has spent each hour of his tenure in pursuit of building the most solid bridge between India and the US," Mason said.
Before taking Dubai-bound Emirates flight from Dallas International Airport on Sunday morning, Shringla tweeted:
All the best to my colleague, Ambassador @HarshShringla, as he prepares to leave Washington for his new position as Foreign Secretary in India. @AmbLindnerIndia is looking forward to meeting you and to giving you a ride in his bright red Hindustan Ambassador! pic.twitter.com/iv6xIBP3Ng— Emily Haber (@GermanAmbUSA) January 11, 2020
India's Deputy Ambassador to the US Amit Kumar commented on Haber's tweet, saying:
Dare say this red Ambassador looks better than the iconic Volkswagen Beatle ????. Want a ride too..— Amit Kumar (@KumarAmitMEA) January 11, 2020
Bon Voyage & best wishes to Amb @HarshShringla as he moves to Delhi for his next imp assignment. It has been a privilege to work closely with him these past few months to advance & consolidate the India-US StrategicPartnership. @IndianEmbassyUS @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/dL9VMYAfOi— Amit Kumar (@KumarAmitMEA) January 12, 2020
Envoys of several diplomatic missions, including those from neighbouring nations and African countries, had attended Shringla's farewell, reflecting his popularity in the Washington's diplomatic community.
Before leaving the country, Shringla met top US Congressional leaders, including House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. He also called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice G Wells said on Twitter:
Saying farewell isn't easy, especially when it’s to a valued partner & friend. @HarshShringla, it’s been a pleasure working w/ you to make #USIndia relationship the strongest it’s ever been. Congrats on FS appointment & looking forward to continuing our partnership. AGW https://t.co/7JALvf079I— State_SCA (@State_SCA) January 11, 2020