United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Erik Solheim on Sunday greeted former diplomat and “old friend” Hardeep Puri on becoming a Minister in the Indian government.

“Warm congrats to my old friend Hardeep Singh Puri, sworn in as minister today,” Solheim tweeted.

He said the Urban Development Ministry is “so important in rapidly rising India!”

Puri, who is allocated Housing and Urban Affairs in Sunday’s reshuffle and expanion of the Narendra Modi government, has served as India’s Permanent Representative at the UN in his diplomatic career. He joined the Bhartiya Janata Party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

An officer of the 1974 Indian Foreign Service batch, Puri is known for his experience and expertise in foreign policy and national security.