Former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was given charge of the Indian External Affairs Ministry on Friday, the first career diplomat to handle the key portfolio. “Count on me to support strengthening our relations,” Jaishankar said in his response. New Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar has said that he will support efforts to strengthen ties with Sri Lanka.Jaishankar responded to a tweet by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera who had congratulated him on his appointment. Considered an expert on China and the US, the new External Affairs Minister’s moves will be keenly watched to see whether he brings any changes in India’s approach in dealing with a hostile Pakistan, the Indian media had reported earlier.Jaishankar, who takes charge of the ministry nearly 16 months after he retired as foreign secretary, will also have to deal with overall expectations of expanding India’s global influence and stature, particularly in key multilateral forums like G-20, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS. (Colombo Gazette)

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