Proud to follow on footsteps of Sushma Swaraj: Jaishankar

The 64-year-old former foreign secretary also said he was honoured to be given the new responsibility.

Published: 01st June 2019 09:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2019 09:46 PM   |  A+A-

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs minister

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at South Block in New Delhi. (Photo | Parveen Negi/ EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in his first official Twitter post, on Saturday said he was "proud to follow on the footsteps" of his predecessor Sushma Swaraj.

The 64-year-old former foreign secretary also said he was honoured to be given the new responsibility.

"My first tweet. Thank you all for the best wishes! Honoured to be given this responsibility. Proud to follow on the footsteps of @SushmaSwaraj ji," Jaishankar tweeted.

In a surprise move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi picked the seasoned diplomat to helm the key ministry, nearly 16 months after he retired as foreign secretary.

Jaishankar served as foreign secretary from January 2015 to January 2018 and both he and Swaraj, the external affairs minister in the previous government, were credited for bringing vibrancy in India's foreign policy.

His appointment to the key post is seen as Modi's attempt to add further strategic heft to India's external engagement.

"We at Team @MEAIndia continue to be at your service 24x7. Happy to be leading the effort with my colleague MoS Muraleedharan ji @VMBJP," Jaishankar said in another tweet.

As external affairs minister in the previous government, Swaraj was known for prompt response on Twitter in addressing grievances of the overseas Indians.

Jaishankar also thanked wishes from a number of his counterparts from several countries including French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Indonesian Foreign Minister Menteri Luar Negeri and Latvia's Edgars Rinkevics.

"Thank you for warm wishes @JY_LeDrian. Look forward to our phone call next week. Hope to meet you for #G7 preparations and taking bilateral ties forward," Jaishankar said in response to the French Foreign Minister's wishes.

The external affairs minister also thanked his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid and Bhutanese counterpart Tandi Dorji on Twitter.

"Thank You @FMBhutan Dr. Tandi Dorji for your good wishes. I look forward to working closely with you on strengthening our special and unique ties," he said in response to Dorji's tweet wishing him.

Replying to the Maldivian Foreign Minister, Jaishankar said, "Thank you for your wishes esteemed colleague Minister @abdulla_shahid. We will work together to ensure that India-Maldives relations scale new heights".

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