New Delhi, January 28
Seasoned diplomat Taranjit Singh Sandhu has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to the US, replacing Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.
Shringla is set to take over as the next foreign secretary on Wednesday.
Sandhu, a 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is currently posted as High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka.
His appointment to the high-profile job comes at a critical time when the US-India strategic partnership is deepening and also tensions are simmering in the Gulf region after the US killed top Iranian commander General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad.
Also, Indian and US officials are engaged in talks to finalise dates for a possible visit by US President Donald Trump to India.
Prior to his current assignment in Colombo, Sandhu was Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy of India in Washington D.C. from July 2013 to January 2017.
He also served as the Consul General of India in Frankfurt from September 2011 to July 2013 and worked at the Ministry of External Affairs from March 2009 to August 2011 as Joint Secretary (United Nations) and later as Joint Secretary (Administration) heading the Human Resource Division.
Sandhu was also posted at the Permanent Mission of India to United Nations, New York from July 2005 to February 2009. He was also a first secretary (Political) at Embassy of India, Washington, D.C. responsible for liaison with the United States Congress from 1997-2000.
In a distinguished career spanning nearly 30 years, Sandhu has worked in the former Soviet Union (Russia) and following the breakup of USSR, he was sent to open a new Embassy in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Shringla had called on Donald Trump and thanked him for his “steadfast support” for strengthening the strategic bilateral ties.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday thanked outgoing Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale for his contributions to the Indian diplomacy. Shringla has been appointed as the new foreign secretary for a two-year fixed term. — PTI
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