Hardeep Singh Puri said the U.S.-India bilateral relationship had benefited from a "paradigm shift," and he said his clear instructions from New Delhi regarding his posting in New York were to seek a greater degree of convergence with the United States.

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SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/2019 TAGS: PREL, PGOV, IN, CE, AF SUBJECT: INDIAN PR PURI'S INTRODUCTORY CALL ON AMBASSADOR RICE

Classified By: AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE, FOR REASONS 1.4 B/D

1. (C) India,s newly appointed Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, met on June 29 with Ambassador Rice. Puri said the U.S.-India bilateral reQtionship had benefited from a ""paradigm shift,"" and he said his clear instructions from New Delhi regarding his posting in New York were to seek a greater degree of convergence with the United States. Ambassador Rice warmly welcomed Puri,s statements, and agreed that were a great number of issues in which the U.S. and India had shared interests. She said the U.S. was India,s ""ready and willing partner"" and suggested a longer meeting in August to review the full scope of the U.S./India relationship at the UN, including peace and security issues, development, climate change, budget and UN reform, nonproliferation and Security Council reform. Puri enthusiastically agreed with this suggestion, and said he would work quickly on a draft agenda.

2. (C) Puri praised the new Administration,s willingness to discuss issues with partners; one example he raised was the recent UN Conference on the World Financial Crisis. Negotiations had been very difficult within the G77 caucus, said Puri, but negotiations with India,s largest trading partners - Europe and the U.S. - had been much smoother. He also raised Security Council reform, and said, ""nothing will move until the U.S. makes a move."" Ambassador Rice said she would be happy to discuss this and other issues during the August meeting.

3. (C) Puri raised recent articles in the U.S. and the UK criticizing the actions of the Secretary-General. Ambassador Rice said the criticism had not come from the U.S. government; it was not helpful for the functioning of the UN. We don,t need a lame-duck Secretary-General, said Ambassador Rice; there is too much to get done. In closing, Puri raised the ""arc of failed states"" surrounding India: Nepal, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, and noted the convergence between U.S. and Indian interests. Specifically, he praised U.S. policy on Sri Lanka. Ambassador Rice said India,s leadership role on this issue was very important. Puri said India was pressing the government of Sri Lanka to achieve a political settlement, and told them that they should make quick progress on improving conditions for IDPs and on implementing the Thirteenth Amendment on center-region relations.

RICE