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Garcetti holds talks with CEO of US-India Strategic Forum

The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), formed in 2017, is an independent non-profit, non-governmental, and non-partisan organisation headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices across both countries...reports Asian Lite News

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti on Wednesday held a meeting with the Chairman of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, John T Chambers and the President and CEO of the USISP Forum, Dr Mukesh Aghi, underscoring that what India and the US is building togrther, will yield dividends in years, decades and centuries to come. Garcetti further expressed joy to witness the US and India collaborating to realise their shared vision in one future.In his post on X, Eric Garcetti stated, “I had a great meeting with @JohnTChambers, Dr. @MukeshAghi, and @USISPForum Board Members this morning. It is fascinating to witness #USIndia collaborating to realize our shared vision in one future.

So much of what we’re building together now will yield dividends in the years, decades, and even centuries to come.”USISPF Board Members also had a luncheon meeting with Sr. Bureaucrats from the Govt of India which included Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Neeraj Mittal, Secretary, Telecommunications, and Ambassdor Vani Rao.

The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), formed in 2017, is an independent non-profit, non-governmental, and non-partisan organisation headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices across both countries.Through its network of 400+ global companies, USISPF bridges the gap between business and government and fosters closer public-private sector partnerships across all facets of the economy and society in the United States and India.Earlier this year, the USISPF organised the US-India Energy Partnership Summit, which addressed a variety of bilateral issues related to energy efficiency, security, access and technology.

This includes multi-stakeholder discussions on new collaborations in the areas of renewable energy, green buildings and sustainable cities, decentralised energy access, shale gas, and climate change.The US Ambassador said that when it comes to something like climate, which is borderless, the two countries are going to be able to help the world together. He said the US-India relationship boils down to one word, trust and trust comes from real friendship. (ANI)

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US Ambassador-designate Garcetti arrives in India, takes charge

The Senate on March 15 (Local Time) confirmed the former mayor of Los Angeles, Eris Garcetti, to be the US ambassador to India…reports Asian Lite News

The pink auto has again taken the route of the US Embassy in India and this time, dropped off America’s ambassador-designate Eric Garcetti, who is all set to take over as the new envoy.

“Excitement fills the air as we welcome Ambassador-Designate Eric Garcetti to India! We are excited to personally greet him and confident the U.S.-India partnership will advance through his leadership. #USIndiaTogether,” US Embassy in India tweeted.

Garcetti, who arrived in India on Tuesday, came in a “pink auto” and met all the members of the Embassy, according to the video shared by US Embassy in India on its official Twitter account.

On Garcetti’s arrival in India, Indian Embassy in the US tweeted, “Namaste, Ambassador-Designate Eric Garcetti! We’re thrilled to welcome you to #IncredibleIndia and work with you to build even stronger ties between our two great nations.”

On March 24, Garcetti was sworn in by US Vice President Kamala Harris as the new US Ambassador to India. Garcetti during the oath-taking ceremony, said: “I Eric M. Garcetti, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter.”

The Senate on March 15 (Local Time) confirmed the former mayor of Los Angeles, Eris Garcetti, to be the US ambassador to India.

Garcetti won the mandate by a vote of 52 to 42, a major victory for US President Joe Biden as well, who stuck by his political ally in the face of the allegations and the prolonged process that has left the world’s most populous democracies without US representatives.

After the result, Garcetti said in a statement, “I’m thrilled with today’s outcome, which was a decisive and bipartisan decision to fill a critical post that has been vacant for far too long. Now the hard work begins.”

“I’m deeply grateful to President Biden and the White House for the confidence and support throughout this process, and to all Senators on both sides of the aisle — whether they voted for me or not — for their thoughtful consideration. I’m ready and eager to begin my service representing our critical interests in India,” he added.

Earlier, the Senate voted 52-42 giving the advantage to the former Los Angeles mayor’s nomination.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee also voted in favour of the former Los Angeles Mayor to become the ambassador of India. The panel approved the nomination by a vote of 13-8, with Republican Senators Todd Young and Bill Hagerty joining all of the committee’s Democrats in voting in favour of Garcetti. (ANI)

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Garcetti sworn in as US ambassador to India

The swearing-in ceremony on Friday was attended by Garcetti’s close family members, including his wife and daughter, who held the Hebrew Bible.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was officially sworn in as the US Ambassador to India by Vice President Kamala Harris at a ceremonial event.

Garcetti was confirmed as the next US Ambassador earlier this month, ending a logjam that had left an important American mission abroad without a regular envoy for almost two years and his fate in the balance.

The swearing-in ceremony on Friday was attended by Garcetti’s close family members, including his wife and daughter, who held the Hebrew Bible.

When asked about his new diplomatic assignment, the former Mayor said: “I cannot wait to serve.”

The US Senate confirmed him in a 52-42 vote with cross-voting from both parties, with several Democrats voting against Garcetti, a nominee of the Democratic President Joe Biden, and several Republicans siding voting for him.

Garcetti was once a rising star in the Democratic party, but had had come under severe criticism lately for ignoring complaints of sexual harassment against one of senior aides.

His nomination had been stalled over these allegations, which came up during his confirmation hearing.

President Biden had first nominated him in July 2021, but it did not proceed and it was technically deemed as returned to the White House, to either be re-sent or replaced.

The last US envoy in New Delhi was Kenneth Juster, who stepped down after the change of government in the US in January 2021.

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Biden names LA Mayor Garcetti as envoy to India

Garcetti has been a champion of climate action, a pillar of Biden’s agenda, which he will be expected to promote in India, reports Arul Louis

US President Joe Biden has nominated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, his close political ally and a former Navy intelligence officer with Indo-Pacific experience, to be the ambassador to India.

The White House also announced on Friday that Biden was nominating a career diplomat, Peter Haas, as the ambassador to Bangladesh.

Both of them will have to be confirmed to their posts by the Senate.

Garceti tweeted, “Should I be confirmed, I’ll bring this same energy, commitment, and love for this city to my new role and will forge partnerships and connections that will help strengthen Los Angeles’ place on the world stage.”

Global Indian diaspora organisation Indiaspora’s founder M.R. Rangaswami said, “It speaks volumes to the importance of the US-India relationship that a close and trusted ally of President Biden may be America’s point person in Delhi.”

The New Delhi ambassadorship is considered an important position and most US ambassadors have been political appointees.

Garcetti was a co-chair of Biden’s election campaign and served on the panel that vetted candidates to be his vice president.

With Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy envisaging a key role for India in the region, Garcetti brings 12 years of experience as an intelligence officer in the US Navy Reserve having served under the US Pacific Fleet Commander and in the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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Garcetti has been a champion of climate action, a pillar of Biden’s agenda, which he will be expected to promote in India.

The White House said, “He is the current Chair of C40 Cities � a network of 97 of the world’s biggest cities taking bold climate action � (and) has led the organisation’s engagement and expansion in India, as well as C40’s global response to the Covid pandemic through the sharing of best practices and resources.”

President Joe Biden (then vice president) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkotta and Mumbai are active members of C40 Cities.

In New Delhi, Garcetti will face the daunting task of reconciling Washington’s priority of reconciling India’s role as a regional power and a major defence ally in the Indo-Pacific region where it confronts Beijing’s aggressive posture with differences over trade, human rights issues and India buying a Russian missile defence system that the US opposes.

Biden offered Garetti a cabinet post, which he turned down saying at the time, “My city needs me now.” When his name surfaced in May for the New Delhi job, his spokesperson said, “We’re 100 per cent focused on ending the Covid pandemic and passing a justice budget for the city.”

The city has since adopted a $10.6 billion budget and brought the Covid-19 pandemic under control.

But Garcetti, who was elected to the first of two terms in 2013 as the mayor of the nation’s second-largest city, is barred by law from running for a third term when his tenure ends next year.

Winning the 2028 summer Olympics for Los Angeles with a successful international campaign was one of his major accomplishments as mayor.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti takes pictures of the 16.4 Megawatt (DC) Westmont Solar Energy Project in San Pedro, about 40 km south of Los Angeles, the United States. (Xinhua/Zhao Hanrong/IANS)

Garcetti has a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and was a Rhodes Scholar. He has taught international affairs at the University of Southern California and diplomacy at Occidental College. His academic research centred on nationalism in Southeast Asia and Northern Africa.

He is of the Jewish faith and a Latino of Mexican descent who has been active in ethnic organisations as the founding Chair of the Latino Alliance of Mayors and a member of the Board of National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

The last US ambassador was Kenneth Juster, a political appointee of former President Donald Trump who resigned in January when Trump left office.

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Since then there have been two acting heads of the US embassy in New Delhi. Daniel Smith, who was appointed the charge d’affaires in April, was succeeded on his retirement by another senior career diplomat Atul Keshap, who was named in June.

Fifteen of the 23 ambassadors in New Delhi have been political appointees and included distinguished personalities like former governors Richard Frank Celeste and Chester Bowles (who served twice), former members of Congress like Kenneth Keating, Sherman Cooper and William Saxbe, and public intellectuals John Kenneth Galbraith and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who had also been a senator.

President Joe Biden during a press briefing (Source witter@POTUS)

Earlier this month Garcetti accompanied the Los Angeles baseball team, Dodgers, to a White House reception honouring their last year’s World Series championship victory.

Biden, who hosted them, said cryptically in jest, “I don’t know, man. I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle Garcetti if you win twice. I mean, it’s going to be hard � really hard.” If that were to happen, Biden, a fan of the rival Philadelphia team, the Phillies, now wouldn’t have to suffer put-downs from Garcetti.

In Dhaka, Haas is set to succeed another career diplomat, Earl Miller, who took charge in 2018.

Haas worked in South Asia as the consul general in Mumbai.

Haas, who obtained a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics as a Marshal Fellow, has specialised in trade and business diplomacy at the State Department.

He is an acting assistant secretary of state and concurrently the principal deputy assistant secretary for economic and business affairs.

Earlier, he had been a senior advisor and deputy assistant secretary for trade policy and negotiations and deputy permanent representative of the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.