New Delhi: Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was appointed as India’s envoy after over two year’s vacancy. His name was confirmed by the US Senate on Wednesday.
Garcetti takes over the reins at a crucial and testing time when geopolitics has been shaped by the Ukraine-Russia war and the differing views that America and India have taken on the conflict. He inherits robust bilateral relations—India at the centre of the G-20 and a driving force of the Quad—but also at a time when India has certainly emerged as the beacon of not just world economy, but politics too.
A look back at his appearance in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2021 is a window into Garcetti’s mind and perception of India. Unfortunately, he carries the mantle of continuity with regard to the West’s sanctimony on democracy and values when looking at other nations, especially India.
In 2021, when former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he made contentious remarks about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India.
On being asked about how he would deal with the ‘human rights situation’ in India, Eric Garcetti said, “I intend to engage directly with civil society. There are groups that are actively fighting for human rights…They will get direct engagement from me.”
“These will not just be afterthoughts for me…I have fought for human rights on 4 different continents and will be a core part of what I will pursue with my Indian counterpart,” he had said then.
On being asked if the Citizenship Amendment Act will “discriminate” against the Muslim population in India, Eric said, “I will not only just bring it up, but it will not be something in the end as an obligation. It will be a core piece of what I will be engaging my Indian counterparts with…”
US confirms Eric Garcetti’s appointment as India’s envoy
The appointment of former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as India’s envoy was confirmed by the US Senate on Wednesday.
The US Senate on Wednesday advanced President Joe Biden’s nomination of former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to become the country’s ambassador to India.
The chamber cleared a key hurdle to further pave the way for a final confirmation vote later Wednesday. Senators voted 52 to 42 to break a filibuster on the appointment of Garcetti.
Seven GOP (Grand Old Party) senators supported Garcetti’s nomination while three Democrats voted against it, according to Politico.
US ambassador to Delhi position was vacant since 2021
The United States has not had an ambassador to New Delhi, an important post as Washington looks to India as an essential partner in its effort to push back against China’s expanding power and influence, since January 2021.
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at its business meeting, had voted 13-8 in favour of his nomination.
Kenneth Juster, the last occupant of the ambassadorial residence of the US in New Delhi, stepped down in January 2021 after the change of government in America.
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