Washington, May 6
US President Joe Biden is soon expected to make formal announcements on several ambassadorial positions, the White House has said, amid a media report that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is under active consideration to be the next envoy to India.
When asked about Garcetti’s consideration as the next US envoy to India, the White House refrained from commenting on speculation.
“I don’t have any personnel announcements or assessments to make here from the podium, but hopefully we’ll have some more formal announcements on ambassadors soon,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference on Wednesday.
A day earlier, a news portal reported that Biden is considering naming the Los Angeles mayor to a high-profile ambassadorship, possibly India.
In December, Garcetti said he had turned down an unspecified job with the Biden administration and would stay in Los Angeles to lead pandemic relief efforts. However, Garcetti hasn’t publicly ruled out leaving before his second term ends in December 2022, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The all-important position of the US envoy to India has been lying vacant since January 20, when Biden, a Democrat, was sworn in as the US President.
In the absence of a full-time ambassador, Daniel Smith, the director of the Foreign Service Institute, has been sent to New Delhi to serve as Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim.
“Smith’s appointment underscores the United States’ strong commitment to our partnership with the Government of India and the Indian people,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price had said on April 30.
Smith will spearhead close cooperation with India to ensure that our countries continue to advance our shared priorities, including overcoming the global pandemic, Price said. PTI