U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley

The visit by U.S. Ambassador to United Nations comes days before the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Washington

Nikki Haley is traveling to India for the first time as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. During her two-day visit, she will meet senior Indian officials, NGO and business leaders, students and the inter-faith community.

Talks between Ms. Haley, the highest ranking Indian-American in the Donald Trump administration, and Indian officials could include a host of topics, including India-U.S. strategic ties and significant global developments.

Ms. Haley will travel to New Delhi from June 26-28 and have interactions “to underscore the United States’ shared values and strong alliance with the people of India,” a brief media advisory from the U.S. Mission to the U.N. said in New York on Monday.

While the advisory did not give further details of the 46-year-old diplomat’s programme during her visit, she could call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is likely to meet senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs.

She will also deliver remarks to a group of business and government leaders, students, and civil society on advancing U.S.-India relations.

One of Republican Party’s Rising Stars

The visit to India by one of the Republican party’s rising stars comes just days before U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis will host External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Washington for the inaugural U.S.-India 2+2 Dialogue on July 6.

This meeting will focus on strengthening strategic, security, and defence cooperation as the U.S. and India jointly confront global challenges, the State Department has said.

Ms. Haley’s visit assumes significance as the Trump administration walks away from key multi-lateral pacts, re-writing American engagement with its key western allies. The visit comes just days after she announced, alongside Mr. Pompeo, that the U.S. was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Under the Trump presidency, the U.S. has pulled away from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate agreement, where India had played a leadership role in bringing the global pact to fruition.

Following Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and the re-imposition of sanctions, Ms. Swaraj said at a press conference in New Delhi that India would comply with the U.N. sanctions and not any country-specific sanctions.

Last month, she had also met Iran’s visiting Foreign Minster Javad Zarif, when he sought India’s support in salvaging Iran’s nuclear deal with leading world powers in the wake of the U.S. pullout from it.

Last visit to India in 2014

Ms. Haley had visited India in late 2014 when she was the South Carolina Governor.

Ms. Haley, daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab, is the first Indian-American to serve in a Cabinet-level position in any U.S. presidential administration.