US hopes new Ambassador to India gets quick approval from Senate

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The Obama Administration hopes that the US Senate would soon approve the nomination of the new Ambassador to India, the top diplomatic post lying vacant since May, once the White House announces it.

"I think everybody agrees that we should have an ambassador to India in place. And as soon as one is nominated, we're hopeful that the Senate will move forward as quickly as possible," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

Her remarks came on a day when Secretary of State John Kerry in a newspaper article accused the US Senate for holding the confirmation process of permanent ambassadors in as many as 40 countries.

"Make no mistake: Vacancies in so many world capitals send a dangerous message to allies and adversaries alike about America's engagement.

"The length and number of these vacancies compromise US national security. In the Middle East alone, the tragic conflict in Syria and rising extremism threaten a region where we have extensive economic and security interests," he said.

"The Senate, to its credit, confirmed ambassadors to Egypt and Iraq last month, but more remains to be done. The Senate must quickly approve ambassadors to Algeria, Kuwait and Qatar, just three of the countries where we have pressing security interests," Kerry said.

Psaki told reporters that countries like Qatar, Algeria, and Kuwait have nominees pending for approval by the Senate.

"In Africa, nearly a full 25% of our total ambassadorial presence on the continent is pending before the Senate and has been for over eight months," she said, hoping that same would not be the case when the White House announces the nomination of US Ambassador to India.

The post of top American diplomat in India is vacant since (then) US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell left in May after an eventful stint. The White House is yet to announce a replacement for her.

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