File photo of Mike Pompeo. Photograph:( AFP )
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday reacted to former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee's demise saying that the relationship between India and US continues to benefit from his vision, which helped encourage cooperation.
Former PM Vajpayee passed away on Thursday evening in AIIMS, Delhi after being in the hospital for over two months.
Vajpayee was admitted to the hospital on June 11 with a kidney tract infection, chest congestion and urine output on the lower side.
In a statement provided by the US State Department, Pompeo stated, "He recognised early on that the United States and India, based on their shared democratic values, could develop a partnership that would contribute to the economic prosperity and security of the region and the world. Today, our two countries and our bilateral relationship continue to benefit from Prime Minister Vajpayee's vision, which helped promote expanded cooperation," as quoted by ANI.
Pompeo said that Vajpayee advocated for India's development while also recalling a line that the former prime minister had said at the US Congress in 2000.
"We know that many Indians will reflect on Prime Minister Vajpayee's many contributions that led to India's rise as a global and economic power. He championed tirelessly for his country's development and demonstrated a devotion to improving the lives of every Indian. Standing before the United States Congress in 2000, he famously characterised US-India ties as a 'natural partnership of shared endeavours," Pompeo added.
The US Secretary of State further said, "The American people and I stand with the people of India as we mourn Prime Minister Vajpayee's passing. Today, we hold the people of India in our thoughts and prayers."
A seven-day state mourning has been announced by the central government as a mark of respect to Vajpayee. During this period, the national flag will be flown at half-mast throughout India.