United States envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed cooperation between the US and India for counter-terrorism measures and in multilateral fora. They also “expressed confidence that a strong India-US partnership will continue to be an important factor for global peace and prosperity,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Haley tweeted that she had also visited a children’s shelter supported by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. The US envoy to the United Nations said they had discussed “the challenges of child labor, trafficking and sexual abuse”. “We heard many stories from children who thankfully have been freed and encouraged them to pay it forward by helping children in similar situations,” she added.
Earlier, Haley had said her visit to India was aimed at strengthening the partnership between New Delhi and Washington. “I am here to once again solidify our love for India, our belief in the friendship India and the US have and our willingness to make that relationship even stronger,” she said, according to PTI.
She said the two countries were the oldest democracies and shared similar values. “We see those opportunities between the US and India in a multiple level of ways whether in counter terrorism, whether it is the fact that we want to continue democratic opportunities, whether it is a fact that we want to start to work together more strongly in military aspects,” said Haley.
This is Haley’s first trip to India after becoming the US envoy to UN. In 2014, she had visited the country when she was the South Carolina governor. Haley’s visit comes just days before the first India-US “2+2 dialogue”. Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will on July 6 discuss with their counterparts Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis the ways in which strategic and defence ties can be strengthened.
Haley underlined the importance of religious freedom. “We think freedom of religion is as important as freedom of rights and freedom of people,” she said. The envoy will visit religious places in the national Capital on Thursday.
Indian-American Haley termed her tour as a homecoming after she visited the tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun in Delhi. She was accompanied by US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster. “It makes my heart happy to be back in India, it is as beautiful as I remember it to be,” Haley said, according to The Times of India. “It’s always good to be back home. My parents said I was crazy to come at this time of the year because it is so hot. But, I will tell you that the heat is worth it to be back in India.”
She is in India for two days, during which she will meet senior officials, business leaders and students. Haley is the first Indian-American to serve in a Cabinet-level position in any US presidential administration.