US envoy Richard Verma arrives in India

US envoy Richard Verma arrives in India

Newly appointed US envoy to India, Richard Rahul Verma, arrived in the capital early on Friday.

With his arrival, preparations for American President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi to attend the Republic Day ceremony on January 26 next are set to gain momentum.
Verma, the first Indian-American to be appointed as the US ambassador to India, is expected to present his credentials to President Pranab Mukherjee soon.

“I am honoured to serve as US Ambassador to India at such an exciting time in our bilateral relationship,” Verma was quoted saying in a press release issued by the US Embassy shortly after his arrival. “I look forward to meeting the Indian people and working together with the Indian government on our shared goals of security, development and prosperity.”

Verma succeeds Nancy J Powell, who resigned in April 2014 in the wake of the bitter diplomatic spat between Washington and New Delhi, following the arrest of Indian Foreign Service officer Devyani Khobragade in New Delhi. He will take over as US envoy to India at a time when New Delhi and Washington DC are preparing for Obama’s visit to attend the Republic Day ceremony here.

Obama will be the first US president to be the chief guest on Republic Day. He is also going to be the first US president to visit India twice during his tenure, having visited New Delhi in November 2010.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is likely to visit Ahmedabad to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 from January 11 to 13. He is expected meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad to discuss preparations for the US president’s visit to New Delhi.

Verma is likely to begin his official duty by assisting Kerry in the meetings in Ahmedabad.
Richard Verma earlier served as an Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. From 2009-2011, he served as a principal adviser to the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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