NEW DELHI: It was a day of phone diplomacy for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who fielded congratulatory calls from her counterparts across the world, including US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry congratulated Swaraj and told her that Washington looked forward to “re-energise” ties with India, with both hoping to increase trade volume five times. In response, Swaraj emphasised that India placed importance on its strategic partnership with the US.
Swaraj was scheduled to talk to Kerry on Tuesday, but could not due to her heavy schedule. Both of them finally had a phone conversation on Wednesday night.
“They discussed the prospects of enhancing bilateral trade and economic ties and hoped that they could raise it to $500 billion from the current $100 billion,” official sources said .
Swaraj briefed Kerry about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with various SAARC leaders, the day after the grand swearing-in ceremony. “Both looked forward to a meeting, which would be worked out through diplomatic channels,” added sources. Kerry’s phone call was just one of many that Swaraj received through the day. “Day long Telephone diplomacy - @SushmaSwaraj receives congratulatory calls from Australia, Canada, Israel, UAE, UK, USA, S Africa,” tweeted Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.