Days before he demits office, US President Donald Trump has presented the prestigious Legion of Merit to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership in elevating strategic partnership between the two countries and spurring the emergence of India as a global power.India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhuaccepted the award on behalf of the Indian leader from the US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien at the White House.
President Trump “presented the Legion of Merit to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership in elevating the US-India strategic partnership,” Mr O’Brien said in a tweet.The Legion of Merit is the country’s highest decoration, called the Degree Chief Commander, bestowed by the president, typically to heads of state or heads of government of other countries.
The President of the United States has conferred “The Legion of Merit” award on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in recognition of his “steadfast leadership for India’s emergence as a global power, promoting global peace and prosperity, and advancing the India-US strategic partnership”, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
At the ceremony, The Legion of Merit was also awarded to Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On September 18, 2020, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, had become the first person to receive the award since 1991. The Legion of Merit is a domed five-pointed American white star plaque of heraldic form, bordered in purplish-red enamel (215/16 inches circumscribing diameter) with 13 white stars on a blue field emerging from a circle of clouds. Backing the star is a laurel wreath pierced and crossed arrows pointing outward between each arm of the star and the wreath. The reverse is engraved with the words the “United States of America”.
“The award reflects friendship and special chemistry President Trump forged with PM Modi, which contributed to deepening strategic ties between the world’s largest democracies,” said Manish Chand, CEO &Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network and India and the World magazine.
The citation with the award states the following:
“For exceptionally meritorious service as the Prime Minister of the Republic of India from May 2014 to August 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s steadfast leadership and vision have accelerated India’s emergence as a global power and elevated the strategic partnership between the United States and India to address global challenges.
Prime Minister Modi’s personal engagement expanded United States-India ties across all facets of the relationship, helping to establish a strong foundation for an enduring partnership that is based on a shared commitment to freedom, democratic principles, the equal treatment of all citizens, and the rule of law. India is a key partner for the United States in the Indo-Pacific, where the two countries are increasing collaboration to ensure freedom of the seas, open and transparent investment and infrastructure development, secure and reliable digital networks, and good governance. Prime Minister Modi’s personal initiative strengthened the defense partnership between the United States and India, enhancing the United States’ ability to secure joint military cooperation that addressed shared challenges.
His efforts to expand India’s economic cooperation with the United States have advanced prosperity, investment, and job creation in both countries. Prime Minister Modi’s superior effort, personal leadership, and unwavering commitment to advancing strategic cooperation between the United States and India and promoting global peace and prosperity reflect great credit upon himself, the Indian armed forces, and his country.”
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