Also about timing, because the United States has not had an ambassador in New Delhi for more than two years, from the time of Kenneth Juster’s pack-up on January 20, 2021, when the change of guard took place at the White House . This is the longest stretch that New Delhi has been without a US ambassador.
When Thomas Pickering was moved to Moscow in March 1993 after serving as US ambassador in New Delhi, it took the Clinton White House 14 months to nominate the next envoy, Frank Wisner. The delay was seen in some quarters as disrespect – if not slight – towards a country that at the time was a relatively mild and distant partner to the US in a unipolar world.
Kenneth Brill, a distinguished US Foreign Service officer, served as Chargé d’Affaires between March 1993 – August 1994. Still, it was seen as a snub to a prestigious station that has seen some of America’s greatest diplomats. In July 1963, two of America’s finest sportsmen literally crossed each other over the threshold – Chester Bowles heading to New Delhi while John Kenneth Galbraith was on his way out.
So what explains this two-year gap in New Delhi that has been filled by five chargé d’affaires while an ambassadorial nominee awaits confirmation in Washington? Well, one obvious answer is the famous Washington standoff fueled by deeply partisan politics.
Garcetti was originally nominated by President Biden as the US Ambassador to India on July 9, 2021. It took the Senate 20 months to confirm him — a torturous process that was stalled over allegations that he ignored allegations of sexual assault and harassment against an ex. top ally.
It became such a controversy that the initial nomination fizzled out and President Biden had to re-nominate him earlier this year, when the new Congress was seated after the midterm elections, saying he had “confidence in Mayor Garcetti and his Believe he will be an outstanding person.” At a critical moment, India calls on the Representative and Senate to ratify her expeditiously.”
The Senate ultimately did so in a bipartisan vote in which three Democratic lawmakers voted against him and seven Republicans voted for him. Among the naysayers were one-time India supporters Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio who traveled across India as a young backpacker during the Emergency, and Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii.
“I am thrilled with today’s outcome, which was a decisive and bipartisan decision to fill an important position that has been vacant for too long. Now the hard work begins,” Garcetti said in a statement highlighting the controversial process. .
“I am deeply grateful to President Biden and the White House for their trust and support during this process, and to all senators on both sides of the aisle – whether they voted for me or not – for their thoughtful consideration,” she said. ”
Indian activists and Indian-Americans were also relieved and thrilled to have a point person in New Delhi. “Eric Garcetti is an excellent choice to serve as US Ambassador … India’s importance to the global economy and national security will only grow in the years to come. A steady hand to guide our relationship with India It’s important to be there,” said Yogi Chugh, a California entrepreneur who hosted Garcetti for dinner at his home last year along with Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna of Silicon Valley.
“Having led Los Angeles, one of the most vibrant cities in the world, Mayor Garcetti understands that working with all stakeholders will be essential to advance the most important relationship of the 21st century, the US-India partnership. Eric and affection for India and the Indian people, and I have no doubt he will hit the ground running when he hits Delhi,” Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership. The Forum saidEric Brings out the humility of a great leader who is constantly on the lookout for improvement and change. He’s also a big picture guy!”