Inside view: Hillary Clinton e-mails reveal what US thinks of India

The release of over 4,000 emails of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given a rare insight into the growth of Indo-US engagement during the previous Congress-led UPA regime.

Updated: Sep 03, 2015, 14:40 PM IST
Inside view: Hillary Clinton e-mails reveal what US thinks of India

New Delhi: The release of over 4,000 e-mails of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has given a rare insight into the growth of Indo-US engagement during the previous Congress-led UPA regime.

Out of the 4,368 emails released by the US State Department on Tuesday, more than 200 refer to India and some contain references to former PM Manmohan Singh, former external affairs minister SM Krishna and former defence minister AK Antony and Jairam Ramesh.

One of those e-mail refers to Copenhagen Climate Summit, about which Jairam Ramesh, the then environment minister had said, “I am still reeling from that historic 75 minutes!!”

Here's the excerpt of the email exchanges between Hillary and Ramesh published by The Indian Express: “Dear Madam Secretary of State: It was wonderful catching up with you in Copenhagen. The opportunity to interact with President Obama and you at the very last minute to salvage the Copenhagen Accord at the US-BASIC Summit Meeting was fantastic and unforgettable for me personally. I am still reeling from that historic 75 minutes!! With greetings for Xmas and best wishes for the New Year, With warmest regards, Jairam Ramesh Minister of Environment and Forests India.”

Hillary responded to it by saying: “Happy New Year! Namiste! All good wishes for 2010. Thx so much for the message from four generations of Talbotts and Ramesh - quite a combo….”

Former United States Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake on March 03, 2010 wrote to Hillary, “I got the readout from the Secretary’s call to Indian FM Krishna, and I understand that she will convey India’s support for Copenhagen to the Brazilians. Right after the call, the MEA sought to clarify a key point, which moderates Krishna’s message. According to the GOI, the Ministry wants to underline that while the Minister had conveyed to the Secretary India’s “broad political support” for the Copenhagen Accord, it was not yet ready to be “listed” as a party to the Accord. But the GOI also understands that the listing process is a priority matter. I also understand that Todd Stern talked to Jairam Ramesh, the Indian Minister of Environment. I have not heard a readout yet, but Todd may have more information about…”

In another e-mail, Judith A McHale a former Under Secretary of State, forwards former home minister P Chidambaram's views on communal harmony in view of a US pastor threatening to burn the Quran.

While commenting on Strobe Talbott’s book, Hillary wrote: “THANK YOU! Strobe—I really appreciate your help on the speech, along w all of your advice. I just finished reading “Engaging India” which is a marvelous read and sober reminder of how hard this work is. You may have heard me plug it yesterday at CFR! So, thanks my friend, Hillary.”

On the issue of buying Boeing C-17 Globemaster, Cheryl D Mills, aide of Hillary, writes, “Indians have expressed reluctance to announce C17 purchase; (US Ambassador Tim) Roemer still working it. (NSA Shivshankar) Menon said he’s optimistic civ-nuke issues will be agreed tomorrow. Mixed press coverage of President’s upcoming trip, including controversy over cost.

When ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh called up the Pakistan PM after the 2010 floods in Pakistan, Jacob Jeremiah, top foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2016 election campaign, then wrote: “Singh is doing a good thing here.”