Dr S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister :
Virtually marked the 96th birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, with the commencement of an annual memorial lecture on foreign policy in his honour.
Had the privilege of interacting with Atalji as a diplomat. He was the Foreign Minister when I first entered the Ministry in 1977. His warmth and kindness was legendary; his solid practicality just as impressive as his soaring rhetoric
Atalji was a titan of his times who left an indelible stamp on many of our national policies. His vision on India’s national security and foreign policy issues were bold, nuanced & principled. Helped India forge and rework its relationships & interests in a post-Cold War world.
Atalji’s 1998 exercise of the nuclear option will remain his most enduring contribution. Under his leadership, our ties with the world were visibly strengthened and we continue to take that further. He embraced the Indian Diaspora in a way that had no parallel till then.
Atalji’s vision of India-US cooperation led to a new beginning with the United States. Has been advanced by the leadership & commitment of PM Narendra Modi Overcoming the hesitations of history, we are today focused on addressing contemporary challenges & emerging opportunities.
India-US as the theme for today’s lecture,thus reflects a recognition of the change that Atalji brought about,as well as an affirmation of our national priorities.
Thank Amb @NishaBiswal President USIBC for her address on India-US cooperation – a relationship that Atalji has done so much to shape.