Freedom of religion is just as important as freedom of rights & freedom of people,’ says US administration official Nikki Haley

Freedom of religion is just as important as freedom of rights & freedom of people,’ says US administration official Nikki Haley

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Jun 27, 2018, 14:15 IST

Nikki Haley (extreme right) on a visit to Humayun’s Tomp in New Delhi today. (Photo: ANI)

NEW DELHI: The US’s ambassador to the United Nations,

Nikki Haley, said today that the “freedom of religion is just as important as freedom of rights and freedom of people”, reported news agency ANI.

Haley, who is on a visit to India, also said that’s the reason she’s looking forward to an interfaith tour scheduled in her itinerary for tomorrow. As well, she said her visit to India is to ”solidify” the US’s “love for India” in a time of worldwide uncertainty and strife,.

“I’m here to once again solidify our love for India, our belief in friendship that India and the US have together and our willingness to want to make that relationship even stronger. In this day and time, we see more and more reasons for India and the US to come together,” said Haley, who is an American of Indian origin, and whose first trip this is to the country since being appointed by the Donald Trump administration.

During her two-day visit, Haley will meet with senior Indian officials, NGO and business leaders, students and the inter-faith community. Talks between Haley, the highest ranking Indian-American in the Trump administration, and Indian officials are expected on a host of issues, including India-US strategic ties and significant global developments and the two democracies’ leadership in the world.

“We’re two (of the) oldest democracies and we see those opportunities between US and India in multiple level of ways … whether it’s countering terrorism or we want to continue our democratic opportunities, or we are going to start to work together more strongly on the military aspect, ” said Haley.

Earlier today, Haley visited the magnificent Humayun’s Tomb in the Capital. And though this is her maiden visit as a US administration official, to the land of her forefathers, she has been here before and said the country is still beautiful.

“It makes me happy to be back in India. It’s as beautiful as I remember it to be. We started out at Humayun’s tomb which is a reminder of how much we value culture and how much India values culture and to see the preservation that has happened here,” said Haley.

The visit to India by one of the Republican party’s rising stars comes just days before U.S. secretary of state Michael Pompeo and secretary of defence James Mattis will host external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Washington for the inaugural US-India 2+2 Dialogue on July 6.

This meeting will focus on strengthening strategic, security, and defence cooperation as the U.S. and India jointly confront global challenges, the State Department has said.

Haley last visited India in late 2014 when she was the South Carolina Governor. She’s a daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab and the first Indian-American to serve in a Cabinet-level position in any US Presidential administration.

(With inputs from PTI)

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