Eric Garcetti | AFP
Washington: President Joe Biden's close aide Eric Garcetti was confirmed on Wednesday by the US Senate as the country's next ambassador to India, filling the key diplomatic position that had been vacant for more than two years.
The Senate voted 52-42 to confirm the nomination of Garcetti, 52.
The former Los Angeles mayor's nomination was pending before the US Congress since July 2021 when he was nominated for the prestigious diplomatic posting by Biden.
President Biden believes that the US has a crucial and consequential partnership with India and that Garcetti will make a strong and effective Ambassador, Olivia Dalton, Principal Deputy Press Secretary, told PTI.
"The President thanks Chairman Menendez and Senators on both sides of the aisle for their thorough consideration and for today's bipartisan vote to confirm Mayor Garcetti,” Dalton said.
“The relationship between India and the US is a strong one, and one of great strategic, economic, and cultural importance. Founded on shared values, supported by growing economic and trade ties, and strengthened by the Indian diaspora here in the US, this partnership continues to hold significant promise for the future," Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of Senate India Caucus, said.
"As co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, I am glad that there will finally be a Senate-confirmed ambassador in New Delhi," Warner said.
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 13-8 in favour of his nomination.
His nomination was not brought to the Senate floor for a vote during the last Congress as the ruling Democratic Party did not have enough support to get the close aide of Biden through.
Garcetti was not confirmed by the Senate in President Biden's first two years in office amid concerns by some lawmakers that the then-mayor had not adequately handled allegations against a former senior adviser of sexual assault and harassment.
President Biden renominated Garcetti to the same position in January this year.
Kenneth Juster, the last occupant of the ambassadorial residence of the US in New Delhi, stepped down in January 2021 after the change of government in America. PTI