American Ambassador Atul Keshap has been appointed interim Chargé d’Affaires to India following the retirement of former Chargé, Daniel Smith, The Hindu reports.
Keshap has previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia at the U.S. Embassy New Delhi. He most recently served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
“Ambassador Keshap’s appointment will reinforce the close U.S. partnership with the Government and people of India, demonstrated by our collaboration to overcome global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic,” The State Department said in a statement.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s name has been floated for the Ambassador role in New Delhi since the end of May. Keshap’s appointment means the question of who will become the next ambassador to India unanswered, according to The Hindu.
Keshap’s appointment comes at a critical time in the US-India relationship, as India starts to recover from its COVID battle with a slow vaccine rollout.
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