Key Congressional panel clears nomination of Los Angeles mayor as US envoy to India

US President Joe Biden nominated Garcetti as his ambassador to India in July last year

Key Congressional panel clears nomination of Los Angeles mayor as US envoy to India

Photo for representation purposes. iStock

PTI

Washington, January 13

A key Congressional panel has voted in favour of the nomination of Los Angeles Mayor Eric M Garcetti to serve as the US Ambassador to India.

US President Joe Biden nominated Garcetti as his ambassador to India in July last year. If confirmed by the Senate, Garcetti, 50, would replace Kenneth Juster, who served as the US Ambassador to India during the Trump administration. Juster was appointed as a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in July.

Besides Garcetti, the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday endorsed 11 other ambassadorial nominations, including Amy Gutmann to be the US Ambassador to Germany, Donald Armin Blome to be the Ambassador to Pakistan and Joe Donnelly to be the envoy to the Holy See.

The nominations now move to the Senate floor for a final confirmation vote.

"It is bipartisan that these vacancies be filled whichever party is in control of the White House," Ranking Member Jim Risch said.

Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, rued that over 55 nominees were still pending before the committee and many challenges around the world are awaiting them.

After Biden's nomination, Garcetti had said he was honoured to accept the nomination and would bring the same energy, commitment and love with which he served the sprawling city to his new role in the world's largest democracy.

"Today, the President announced that I am his nominee to serve as US Ambassador to India. I am honoured to accept his nomination to serve in this role," Garcetti, a Democrat, had said in a statement soon after Biden announced his nomination.

He has travelled several times to India, most recently as a councilman. In college, he spent a year studying Hindi and Urdu.

“It's the largest democracy in the world, soon to be the most populous country in the world, one of the top handful of superpowers in the world,” Garcetti said.

“We can't get our climate goals without India hitting its climate goals. We can't see the economy truly reopened to international commerce and tourism until Covid is under control. We're all very closely connected,” he told the Los Angeles Times in an interview.

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