New York: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's practical attitude played a key role in transforming India-US relationship in the last eight years. Mr Jaishankar was addressing a session at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York. 

The Minister said, for nearly five decades India looked upon the United States with suspicion and its overall foreign policy assessment of the US was of deep caution, but the country has now overcome the assumptions to forge a different relationship with America.

He said, Prime Minister Modi has no ideological baggage and this has helped India-US ties to grow in tremendous ways during the last eight years. About the rise of China and India's growth story, Mr Jaishankar attributed factors that slowed down the country's growth as partition, delay in conducting nuclear tests and delay in initiating economic reforms. 

He said, China did not face partition and rather acquired territories, conducted nuclear tests in 1964 and

initiated economic reforms in the 1970. He also said that it is in the mutual interest of India and China to find a way to accommodate each other.

Meanwhile, the External Affairs Minister held a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal at the United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday. During the meeting, Mr Jaishankar informed Mr Shmyhal about India's principled position that calls for cessation of hostilites and resolving the issues through diplomacy and dialogue. He assured Prime Minister that India will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The two leaders discussed the consequences of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, including for food security, energy security and safety of nuclear facilities. the External Affairs Minister thanked Ukraine's Prime Minister for sharing his perspective and assessment of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Mr Jaishankar is in United States to attend the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

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