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Published On: Fri, Jan 18th, 2019

India appoints new envoys for Israel, South Africa, Bhutan, Maldives

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South blokNEW DELHI : In a major reshuffle of ambassadorial appointments, the Ministry of External Affairs has decided on sending new Ambassadors to Israel, Mexico, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand and Vietnam. There will also be two significant changes in the neighborhood coinciding with new governments being elected in Bhutan and the Maldives, according to sources in the MEA.

India’s High Commissioner to South Africa Ruchira Khamboj is expected to be posted to Thimphu after completing the visit of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who will be the Chief Guest for the Republic Day parade this year. Ms. Khamboj would exchange places with Jaideep Sarkar, who is presently in Thimphu and will move to Pretoria in her place.
Sunjay Sudhir, presently with the Petroleum Ministry has been chosen to move to the Maldives, an important posting given the reset in ties between the two countries since the election of President Ibu Solih. On January 18, the new Maldivian Ambassador Aishath Mohamed Didi arrived in Delhi to present her credentials. In other decisions, Sanjeev Singla, a key official in the Prime Minister’s Office, and who has been Narendra Modi’s private secretary for the past few years, is being sent to Israel in place of Ambassador Pavan Kapoor.
Former ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra is being sent to Mexico, and will replace Ambassador Muktesh Pardeshi, who, according to reports will move to New Zealand. Pranay Verma, who has been a diplomat handling South East Asia at the MEA headquarters at present will move to Vietnam and the Joint Secretary (North) who handled Nepal and Bhutan, Sudhakar Dalela, will head to Chicago as Consul-General, according to sources.
According to officials, more than 20 ambassadorial and key consulate positions are expected to come up for change between January and June 2019, although some of the postings are yet to be announced and the timing of the moves will depend on documents or “agreements” being cleared by host countries. Among the senior moves announced in the last few months were for Ambassadors to Washington and London, where Harsh Shringla and Ruchi Ghanshyam have taken charge.*The hindu ).

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