New Delhi: It was a day of ‘telephone diplomacy’ today for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who received congratulatory calls from US Secretary of State John Kerry and her other counterparts from Australia, Canada, Israel, UAE, UK, South Africa.

Kerry, who called late last night, was the first one to call Swaraj after she took over the External Affairs Ministry and discussed re-energising of the Indo-US ties.

During the call with Kerry, the focus was on enhancing trade and economic ties to USD 500 billion from current USD 100 billion, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

Swaraj, on her part, emphasised on the importance India gives to strengthening the international partnership.

She also briefed Kerry on India’s engagement with the SAARC countries including Pakistan.

Both are looking forward to meeting each other, the spokesperson said.

Earlier in his message to Narendra Modi, Kerry had said that the Obama Administration is looking forward to welcoming the new Prime Minister to the US.

UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said that his government sees that there are tremendous opportunities to deepen cooperation and looks forward to working with Swaraj. They both agreed to work out mutually convenient dates for meeting.

Apart from Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, with whom she discussed the scope for widening bilateral trade and economic ties as well as civil nuclear cooperation, Swaraj also received a call from Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, whom she invited to visit India for the next strategic dialogue. They also emphasised on the need to build this relationship further.

Baird underlined Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s commitment to the India-Canada partnership. They also spoke of making efforts to speed up current dialogues to develop the trade and investment relationship.

Foreign Minister of Israel Avigdor Liberman  congratulated Swaraj on her assumption of office and invited her to visit his country.

According to MEA officials, the External Affairs Minister has accepted the invitation in principle and said that she hoped to advance bilateral relations, particularly in the areas of the knowledge economy and high technology.

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