New Delhi, March 16
India has welcomed the confirmation of Eric Garcetti as the US Ambassador to New Delhi and said it looked forward to working with him to take forward the multifaceted bilateral relations.
Nomination was pending since 2021
- The US Senate voted 52-42 to confirm the former Los Angeles Mayor’s nomination on Wednesday
- His nomination was pending before the US Congress since July 2021 when he was nominated by Biden
- There were concerns among lawmakers that he did not ‘adequately handle’ allegations of sexual assault against a former senior adviser
“We welcome the confirmation of Eric Garcetti as the US Ambassador to India. We look forward to working with him to take forward the multifaceted bilateral relations,” said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi at a media briefing.
Garcetti was not confirmed for two years because of concerns by some lawmakers that he had not adequately handled allegations of sexual assault and harassment against a former senior adviser. There was drama when the US Senate assembled to vote on Garcetti’s nomination. Three Democratic Senators — Sherrod Brown, Mazie Hirono and Mark Kelly — opposed his nomination. But seven Republicans broke ranks and provided the necessary support for Garcetti’s nomination by 52 votes to 42, with six Senators absent.
“This has become a grave national security concern for me — not to have an ambassador in place. Our strategic partners wouldn’t conceive of going two years into the establishment of a government or administration and failing to place their person in the role,” said Republican Senator Todd Young, who had backed Garcetti.
Garcetti’s nomination was also welcomed by a large number of politicians, entrepreneurs as well as India-American businessmen working on the Indo-US trade circuit.
Mayor of Los Angeles since 2013, Garcetti served for 12 years as an Intelligence Officer in the US Navy Reserve Component, including a stint with the Pacific Fleet and the Defence Intelligence Agency.
He was also a City Council member for 12 years and oversaw the busiest container port in the Western Hemisphere, the largest municipal utility in the country, and one of the busiest airports in the world. He led LA’s successful bid to return the summer Olympic Games to the American soil for the first time in three decades.
He currently chairs LA Metro, the country’s second-busiest transit agency, which is building or extending 15 new transit lines, and shifting to an all-electric fleet, said a White House brief.
A Rhodes scholar, Garcetti studied at the Queen’s College, Oxford and the London School of Economics. He taught at Occidental College’s Department of Diplomacy and World Affairs, as well as at the University of Southern California’s School of International Relations.
He has lived and conducted field work on nationalism, ethnicity, and human rights in Southeast Asia and northeast Africa.
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