Condoling the demise of former External Affairs Minister and veteran BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, who passed away following a cardiac arrest, the US Mission in India on Wednesday said that she will always remain "a friend of the United States."
"Today, the US Mission to India mourns the passing of Sushma Swaraj. Minister Swaraj was greatly respected and viewed as an outstanding representative of the Indian people, both at home and abroad," the mission said in a statement.
"She was a steadfast advocate for her compatriots. As External Affairs Minister, she was a key partner in strengthening the US-India bilateral relationship, most prominently during the inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in September 2018," it added.
"We will always consider her a friend of the United States. Our sympathies go out to Minister Swaraj's family and friends, as well as to all Indians who were positively affected by her life and actions," they concluded.
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama also condoled the death of the BJP stalwart, saying, "I offer my prayers and my condolences at this difficult time."
"Sushma Swaraj enjoyed immense respect for her compassionate concern for people and her friendly demeanour. In devoting herself to service of others, she led a very mengful life," he added.
Earlier today, President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJPworking president JP Nadda among others paid tribute to Swaraj at her residence.
Prime Minister Modi and BJP veteran L K Adv turned emotional as they paid their last respects to the departed leader.
Swaraj, the BJP's most prominent woman face, breathed her last on Tuesday night after a cardiac arrest.
She was the foreign minister in the first term of Modi government but opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing health reasons.
( With inputs from ANI )