US President Donald Trump on Monday conferred PM Narendra Modi with the prestigious Legion of Merit award for his role in boosting strategic partnership between the two countries.
The award was accepted by Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who is India’s Ambassador to the US, and was presented by 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.
As per Wikipedia, “The Legion of Merit is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.”
PM Modi was presented with the highest degree Chief Commander award, which is given only to the Head of State or Government.
The last person to receive the Legion of Merit award was the late Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on September 18, 2020.
“The Legion of Merit basically mainstreams the QUAD dialogue from an experimental stage and towards institutionalisation of the security architecture. The world has now realised that the real father of QUAD is China, which forced democracies to cement ties due to its aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea, East Ladakh and against Taiwan. It is another matter that India, Australia and Japan’s relationship with the US is bipartisan with a shared vision of democracy and values,” said a senior official.