Rahul Richard Verma is the new US Ambassador to India

Verma confirmed by the US Senate.

By Sujeet Rajan

WASHINGTON, DC: Rahul Richard Verma is the new ambassador of the United States to India.

A 2010 file photo of Richard Verma (left) with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Sen. John Kerry.
A 2010 file photo of Richard Verma (left) with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Sen. John Kerry.

The U.S. Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s nominees to be the next American ambassadors to India and Afghanistan on Tuesday, filling two of the country’s most important diplomatic posts days before leaving Washington for the year, reported Reuters.

By unanimous voice votes, the Senate approved former State Department official Verma as U.S. ambassador to India and Peter Michael McKinley to be the ambassador in Kabul.

Verma will replace Nancy Powell, who resigned in March after a damaging dispute over the treatment of the Deputy Consul General of India in New York, Dr. Devyani Khobragade.

Verma has served as assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs at the State Department in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011.

Verma will now be able to take his position in New Delhi before Obama travels to India as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26th, 2015.

Verma in a recent speech at his confirmation hearing had noted the vast potential of Indo-US ties, saying: “The ripple effects of our partnership need not be limited to Asia. As Prime Minister Modi noted, the true power and potential in this relationship is that when the oldest and largest democracies come together, the world will benefit.”

McKinley, a career diplomat who has also served as U.S. ambassador in Colombia and Peru, is currently the deputy ambassador in Afghanistan, where the United States is drawing down its forces after 12 years of war. He replaces the current ambassador, James Cunningham, who has held the Kabul post since 2012.

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