United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, on Thursday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “knows exactly why” Washington postponed its “2+2 dialogue” with New Delhi. In an interview with NDTV, Haley said the decision had nothing to do with India and that the United States considers bilateral ties to be at its strongest.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were scheduled to travel to the United States to take part in the first India-US “2+2 dialogue” on July 6. They were supposed to discuss with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis the ways in which strategic and defence ties can be strengthened.
“Things happen,” Haley told the news channel. “It will come to light why this has been rescheduled. But the relationship between India and US has never been stronger in our eyes and I hope in the eyes of India, it is the same way.”
Haley is on a two-day trip in India. This is her first trip to the country after becoming the US envoy to UN. In 2014, she had visited the country when she was the South Carolina governor.
The ambassador also said she discussed India’s trade relationship with Narendra Modi during her visit to New Delhi. “All of us have to rethink who we choose to do business with,” Haley said. “I think as a friend, India should also decide is this a country they want to continue doing business with. So yes, I had that conversation with PM Modi. It was a constructive conversation. I think for the future of India, future of resources, we would encourage them to rethink their relationship with Iran.”
Earlier on Thursday, Haley said the United States values Pakistan as a partner in its fight against terrorism but cannot tolerate the country becoming “a haven for terrorists”.