US Senate advances Biden's nomination of Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India


Washington: The US Senate on Wednesday advanced President Joe Biden’s nomination of former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to become the country’s ambassador to India.

The chamber cleared a key hurdle to further pave the way for a final confirmation vote later Wednesday. Senators voted 52 to 42 to break a filibuster on the appointment of Garcetti.

Seven GOP (Grand Old Party) senators supported Garcetti’s nomination while three Democrats voted against it, according to Politico.

The United States has not had an ambassador to New Delhi, an important post as Washington looks to India as an essential partner in its effort to push back against China’s expanding power and influence, since January 2021.

Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at its business meeting, had voted 13-8 in favour of his nomination.

Kenneth Juster, the last occupant of the ambassadorial residence of the US in New Delhi, stepped down in January 2021 after the change of government in America.

Ahead of the crucial confirmation vote, Mukesh Aghi, president, US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) hoped that India would finally have an ambassador.

“We are hopeful that this week or by next week, the Senate will confirm Mayor Garcetti to be the next ambassador to India,” Aghi told PTI in an interview. Responding to a question on the unusual delay of confirmation, Aghi said it is an aberration where local politics have an impact on international relationships.

“But despite not having an ambassador, what we are seeing is a strong momentum between the Biden administration and the Narendra Modi government itself,” he said.

“If you look at (US National Security Advisor) Jake Sullivan talks to (his Indian counterpart) (Ajit) Doval on a weekly basis. We have Secretary (of State) Antony Blinken talking to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on a regular basis. So, they have been able to bridge that gap,” Aghi noted.

With inputs from agencies.

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US Senate advances Biden's nomination of Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India
US Senate advances Biden's nomination of Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India
ASE News
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