Biden to appoint close ally as ambassador to India
US President Joe Biden is reportedly ready to appoint close political ally Eric Garcetti, current Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, as ambassador to India.
Axios, who first announced Biden could pick Garcetti some time ago, said in a report Tuesday that the president appears to have settled on him for India and an announcement could be made. starting next week, as well as other nominations of ambassadors who will be sent together to the Senate for confirmation.
Garcetti, 50, was one of Biden’s presidential campaign co-chairs and was also part of a panel that the then Democratic candidate set up to seek out his running mate. After the election, Garcetti was appointed one of the co-chairs of the inauguration committee.
The mayor of Los Angeles was widely expected to secure a cabinet spot, and reports suggested the timing was being considered for the secretary’s accommodation. But his chances have diminished after being seen as indifferent to allegations of sexual harassment against a senior official, including by a journalist.
US presidents are known to send close political allies and donors on ambassadorial missions. Host nations are more willing to welcome political allies who apparently have the ability to reach the president, or the White House, directly, skipping the multiple layers of State Department bureaucracy.
After a BA and MA from Columbia University, Garcetti went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar (as former President Bill Clinton), then went to the London School of Economics. His website as Mayor of LA says he’s also a jazz pianist (and Secretary of State Antony Blinken plays guitar and has his own band) and photographer.
If appointed and confirmed by the Senate, Garcetti will succeed Ken Juster, who was sent by former President Donald Trump, and will lead from New Delhi a bilateral relationship that has grown considerably in recent years between administrations. of both parties. .
Picking up where President Trump left off, President Biden signaled an early engagement in the relationship. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first world leaders he called after entering the White House and hosted the first Quad leaders summit, which includes India.
Biden dispatched one of his key cabinet members, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, to New Delhi as part of his senior officials’ first overseas visits; invited Modi to a climate summit; supported a proposal by India and South Africa to temporarily waive patent protection for Covid-19 vaccines; and sent $ 100 million worth of supplies of oxygen, PPE and therapeutics to help India cope with a deadly second wave of Covid-19 cases.
Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar is currently on a five-day tour of the United States and heads to Washington DC on Wednesday for the first in-person engagement of an Indian cabinet member with the Biden administration in the United States . He meets with Secretary of State Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, as well as others, including business leaders.