Building consensus against terror is priority: Shringla

Building consensus against terror is priority: Shringla

Senior diplomat Harsh Vardhan Shringla. (PTI Photo)

New Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday said that seeking “a shared, undifferentiated and unambiguous” approach to terrorism and the threat it posed to free societies would be one of the objectives of India's external engagements.

“The primary objective of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Foreign Service is to advance our national interests across the world and serve the people of India, wherever they may be,” Shringla said as he took over as the 33rd Foreign Secretary of India on Wednesday.

He succeeded Vijay Gokhale, who retired on Tuesday.

“We are service providers to our citizens and our people, whether at home or abroad. Enhancing the security and prosperity of India through external ties and the well-being of all Indians, wherever they may be, is our mission statement,” said the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1984 batch.

Shringla was India's ambassador to the United States from December 2018 till he was appointed as the successor of Gokhale.

He was earlier posted in Dhaka as High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh.

“I remain as passionate about the Ministry and its role in our nation-building as I did as a young probationer,” he told journalists in front of the MEA at South Block on Wednesday.

“Welcomed Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla after he assumed charge today. Confident that his warm personality and enormous experience would help take #TeamMEA to greater heights,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar posted on Twitter.

Shringla said that he looked forward to working with India’s many partners in the international system – in “enhancing developmental and economic linkages, as well as connectivities, with neighbours; building synergies with major powers; seeking a shared, undifferentiated and unambiguous approach to terrorism and the threat it poses to free societies; and sustaining the gains of a rules-based multilateral order.”