Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu speaking to ANI. Photo/ANI
Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu speaking to ANI. Photo/ANI

India will be happy to work with US on expansion of G-7, says Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu

ANI | Updated: Jun 09, 2020 06:36 IST


By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington D.C. [US], June 9 (ANI): Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Monday (local time), while referring to a recent telephonic conversation between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, said that the two leaders have been in "regular touch" and senior officials of two countries have been talking to each other.
"They have been in regular touch, and both senior officials of the Government of India and the US administration have been talking to each other regularly. This particular phone call happened on the 2nd. And in that, apart from other aspects, two points regard to G7 were raised," Sandhu told ANI while responding to a question on the recent conversation between two leaders.
The Ambassador said India will be happy to work with the US as far as President Trump's desire to expand G-7 is concerned.
"One, President Trump invited Prime Minister Modi to come and attend the summit. And second, was that he also shared his desire to expand the G7. So, on both of these counts, India will be very happy to work with the United States. And I think the exact dates still have to be finalized. Once they are done and it will be communicated to us," he said.
On June 2, PM Modi had held a telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump.
Prime Minister Modi has accepted President Trumps invite and could visit the United States in September. However critics and especially the Chinese have strongly reacted to President Trump's plans to invite India, Russia, Australia and South Korea to G7 summit, saying that any attempts to draw a "small circle" against Beijing will be "doomed to fail and become unpopular".
Responding to a question regarding China's objection to the expansion of G-7, Sandhu said this is not the first time India has been invited to G7.
"This is not the first time India has been invited to G7. India's presence, and especially in light of the COVID, our stature has grown..and this is a respect for India rather than any geopolitical terms. So, India's presence, 1.3 billion people's presence in not only this forum but also other institutional and international organizational forums, is something which is not only adequate, but a necessity. So this is a recognition of India's heightened role and importance in the world.
Sandhu, while speaking about cooperation between two countries regarding coronavirus pandemic, said: "There has been a very close collaboration. Of course, there are a lot of other fields, especially in medicine and in research, there are three particular aspects of this which are important. One, in terms of medicines."
"As I mentioned to you that we have supplied whatever medicines the United States was depending upon India, but also, in addition, we are collaborating together. As you know, India is a bulk producer for medicines especially for public health, and a number of US companies are in collaboration with Indian companies for the production of these and one such case very recently is the famous Remdesivir on which four Indian companies have been signed up to make the bulk production," he added.
The Indian envoy, further explaining the cooperation regarding COVID-19 vaccines, said: "Second part (cooperation) is regarding the vaccines, on that ICMR and its institutions and NIH and CDC are collaborating on three vaccines, and there is development on that. Lastly, the third part is private to private companies, that also in the medicine area, there is close collaboration."
The Ambassador further pointed out that President Trump has often publicly mentioned about his special relationship with PM Modi and his special affection for India.
"It was a very warm conversation. As you have seen in the public statements and in fact, President Trump has often publicly mentioned about his special relationship with our Prime Minister and his special affection for India, and he often mentions about the last visit in February which he had gone to India and the warm welcome he received. Not only as I mentioned to you that G7 was discussed, but also other international aspects and both are synergy on tackling the crisis that is the COVID-19, the collaboration, as well as our experiences," he said.
During the telephonic conversation on June 2, Modi and Trump had 'exchanged views on other topical issues, such as the COVID-19 situation in the two countries, the situation on the India-China border, and the need for reforms in the World Health Organisation'.
"The specifics, people who are connected with WHO and these institutions can give a better sense, but as I have mentioned that the international organizations, India has been in the forefront, seeking reorganization, plus, making it more attuned to the existing realities," said Sandhu.
"So, 1.3 billion people, and many such countries, the viewpoints which India represents need to be accommodated, and I think this review... now there, is much more sentiment for it. It is recognition of the position, which we have taken for many years," he added. (ANI)

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