Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded the ‘Legion of Merit’ by U.S. President Donald Trump on
Monday for his role in advancing the India-U.S. relationship. The award was also presented to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. India, the U.S., Japan and Australia constitute the ‘Quad’ group of countries – seen as an alternative to Chinese dominance in the Indo-Pacific region.
“President Donald Trump presented the Legion of Merit to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership in elevating the U.S.-India strategic partnership,” U.S. National Security Adviser Robert C.O’Brien, tweeted. The award was presented by Mr. O’Brien to India’s U.S. Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who accepted it on Mr. Modi’s behalf.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said “The President of the United States of America conferred the highest decoration, The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The award is in recognition of the Prime Minister’s steadfast leadership and vision that has accelerated India’s emergence as a global power and elevated the strategic partnership between the United States and India to address global challenges.”
India’s emergence as a global power, and exemplary contribution made by him for the advancement of the India-United States strategic partnership and promoting global peace and prosperity. PM Modi was presented with the highest degree Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit which is given only to the Head of State or Government. Other Indians who have won the award include Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa who received the Legion of Merit in 1949 from then U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Scott Morrison was presented the award for “addressing global challenges and promoting collective security” and Mr. Abe “for his leadership and vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” as per the NSA. The awards were received by the Australian and Japanese Ambassadors in Washington DC.
Morrison is not the first Australian recipient of the award. It has been awarded to, among others, former Prime Minister Robert Menzies, former chiefs of army Angus Campbell and David Morrison, and former chief of the defence force and current governor general David Hurley.
U.S. President Donald Trump has awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his leadership and vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, the U.S. government said Monday. Abe stepped down in September due to health reasons after serving as prime minister for nearly eight years. He forged a close relationship with Trump, who took office in 2017. Japanese Ambassador to the United States Shinsuke Sugiyama received the medal on behalf of Abe, according to the NSC.
The Legion of Merit was instituted in 1942 by former U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces and also members of foreign (i.e., non-U.S.) armed forces and sometimes heads of state or government. The award is presented to foreign recipients in four categories: Chief commander, Commander, Officer and Legionnaire.