New Delhi: President Joe Biden is reportedly likely to appoint Los Angeles mayor and “trusted political ally” Eric Garcetti as the next US Ambassador to India.
According to news site AXIOS, Biden is all set to announce his ambassadors to certain key countries next week after the White House completes the vetting process of the proposed names and forwards them to the Senate for confirmation.
Garcetti’s office had earlier called a similar 4 May AXIOS report as “speculative”.
Once confirmed, Garcetti will be succeeding Kenneth Juster, who was the US’ envoy in New Delhi till January 2021.
The next US Ambassador to India faces a number of challenges even as both countries have become closer than ever with the Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, under the Indo-Pacific strategic construct, while facing the rise of China as a common threat.
Before leaving office, during ThePrint’s ‘Off The Cuff’ interaction with Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, the outgoing US envoy Juster had said that be it America, India or China, no country wants a conflict to take place, but these countries need to work out a way to deal with Beijing’s rising power in the world.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, the challenges have grown manifold with India eyeing partnerships with US pharma majors for greater collaboration on vaccines, medicines and other related therapeutics.
Also read: India-America ties ‘most consequential relationship of 21st century’ — US envoy Juster
Who is Eric Garcetti
Garcetti was one of the mayors who rallied more than 400 mayors in cities across America to adopt the Paris Climate agreement after the former Donald Trump administration pulled out of the pact.
The son of public servants and grandson and great-grandson of immigrants from Mexico and Eastern Europe, Garcetti has previously served as the co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign. He was considered initially for Biden’s cabinet.
According to the latest AXIOS report, Garcetti couldn’t make it to Biden’s cabinet as one of his former aides Rick Jacobs’s name got embroiled in a sexual harassment case. The case, first filed by journalist Yashar Ali, drew much national attention.
On US ambassadors selection list
Some of the other names being considered for the position of envoys in various countries are Ken Salazar, a former US senator and interior secretary who is gearing up to take the post in Mexico; Mark Gitenstein, an international lawyer who was former US President Barack Obama’s first ambassador to Romania and could become the next US ambassador to the European Union; former Chicago mayor and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel may be heading to Japan; and Nick Burns, a career diplomat, could head to China.
On Tuesday, the White House confirmed Thomas Nides, a former deputy secretary of state, as the new US Ambassador to Israel.
Meanwhile, the White House has come under considerable criticism for making the entire process of selecting ambassadors “too protracted and too opaque”.
Also read: India a ‘bipartisan success story’ for US, the ties can be deepened in many ways — Blinken