Washington, May 1
US President Joe Biden is sending top American diplomat Daniel Smith as its interim envoy to India amidst the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country to spearhead close cooperation with it and ensure the two nations continue to advance their shared priorities, including overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Ambassador Daniel Smith, the Director of the Foreign Service Institute, who recently served as acting Secretary of State and Acting Deputy Secretary of State, will be departing for New Delhi to serve as Charge d’Affaires, ad interim,” the US State Department announced.
The position of US Ambassador to India is lying vacant since January 20, when Biden was sworn in as the 46th US President. The position needs a Senate confirmation. The process post nomination usually takes several months.
Given the unfolding humanitarian crisis in India, the Biden administration cannot afford not to have its diplomatic post in New Delhi without a head.
“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 said. — PTI