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 @realDonaldTrump 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 (NSA) Robert C. OBrien wrote on Twitter.
The award was presented by Mr. OBrien to Indias U.S. Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who accepted it on Mr. Modis behalf.
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The President of the United States of America conferred the highest decoration, The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21 December 2020. The award is in recognition of the Prime Ministers steadfast leadership and vision for 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, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Mr. 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.
The Legion of Merit, instituted in 1942 by former U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 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. Other Indians who have won the award include Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa who received the Legion of Merit (Degree: Chief Commander) in 1949 from then U.S. President Harry S. Truman.