Navtej Sarna may be next envoy to US?


New Delhi: India's high commissioner to UK, Navtej Sarna, is likely to take over from Arun Singh as India's ambassador to the US. Singh, who steered India's Washington outreach for the past year-and-a-half, is scheduled to retire at the end of the month.

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It is also learnt that Taranjit Sandhu, who is India’s deputy chief of mission in Washington, is headed to Sri Lanka and India’s envoy to the island nation YK Sinha could take Sarna’s place in the UK. Sarna has only recently been sent from South Block where he was secretary (west) to London as high commissioner. If appointed, Sarna would keep an informal tradition alive by being the third former ambassador to Israel to make it as either deputy head or ambassador in Washington DC.

In Washington, Sarna is likely to be joined by Santosh Jha who is currently joint secretary (policy planning) in MEA, tasked by foreign secretary S Jaishankar with the job of completely revamping this division. Jha is likely to be the next deputy ambassador there. Sinha might be joined by Dinesh Patnaik as his deputy, who has just completed a stint as India's ambassador to Morocco.

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