Indian ambassador presents credentials to Obama

WASHINGTON (TIP): The new Indian ambassador to the US, Dr. S Jaishankar formally presented his credentials to President Barack Obama at his oval office at the White House on March 10. Jaishankar was second of the six ambassadors who presented their credentials to Obama one by one in a traditional ceremony that marks the formal beginning of an ambassador’s service in Washington.

Pakistan’s Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani also presented his credentials along with the new envoys of Tunisia, Papua New Guinea, Belgium and Qatar. Although he formally presented his credentials to Obama only March 10, Jaishankar spent the last couple of months since his arrival here on Christmas eve to put the India-US relations back on track after the diplomatic row over the Khobragade affair.

Jaishankar, who played a key role in negotiating the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal and other initiatives, used his wide contacts with the Washington bureaucracy dealing with South Asia to defuse the crisis over the December 12 arrest and strip search of India’s then consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade. Coming to Washington after four years as the Indian ambassador in China, he succeeded Nirupama Rao, whom he had replaced in Beijing too when she returned to New Delhi to become foreign secretary.

Son of India’s leading strategic thinker, the late K.Subrahmanyam, Jaishankar comes to Washington, DC with more than three decades of diplomatic experience. Joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1977, he spent three years from 1985 to 1988 as first secretary handling political affairs at the Indian embassy in Washington.

He has also served as India’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, High Commissioner to Singapore and as head of Americas division in the ministry of external affairs. Jaishankar holds a Ph.D and M.Phil in International Relations and a Master in Political Science. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He is married to Kyoko Jaishankar and they have two sons and a daughter.

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