Washington, Jul 10 (PTI) Powerful US lawmakers and eminent members of the Indian-American community have welcomed the nomination of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the country's next envoy to India.
US President Joe Biden on Friday announced the nomination of Garcetti, 50, as the US Ambassador to India.
“I am honoured to accept his nomination to serve in this role,” Garcetti said in a statement soon after he was nominated for the role.
Top American lawmakers and eminent members of the Indian-American community described it as an excellent choice.
“Mayor Garcetti is an excellent choice to serve as US ambassador to India. The importance of India to the global economy and national security will only continue to grow over the coming years – and having a steady hand to guide our relationship with that nation is vital,” Senator Dianne Feinstein said.
Garcetti, as the grandson and great-grandson of immigrants, is committed to economic opportunity and justice for all, two bedrock American values that he will effectively champion in India, she said.
Biden’s nomination of Garcetti to serve as next ambassador to India is an important step forward in the US-India partnership as the two countries work together to end the pandemic, increase economic cooperation, and ensure regional security, Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said.
“Mayor Garcetti’s experience in leading Los Angeles while championing international cooperation between the world’s leading cities will undoubtedly serve him well as he helps strengthens the relationship between the world’s largest democracy and its oldest,” he said.
The choice of Eric Garcetti to be the US ambassador to India is a mark of how keen the Biden administration is on establishing strong ties with India, said M R Rangaswami, a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur and investor, about his nomination.
Rangaswami said Garcetti has a strong track record as the mayor of America’s second largest city and a personal connection with Biden.
“Both of these will be significant assets as he plays a leading role in the efforts to further strengthen US-India ties and we at Indiaspora are delighted with this development,' he said.
“As Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus, I look forward to working with Garcetti to strengthen the relationship between the world’s oldest and largest democracies,” said Congressman Brad Sherman.
Indiaspora, a nonprofit organisation of global Indian diaspora leaders, in a statement said as the Mayor of Los Angeles, the United States’ second largest city, Garcetti would bring valuable political and administrative experience to the role.
“A close political confidante of President Biden who served as a Co-chair of his campaign in 2020, Garcetti also would have the President's ear,” it said.
Garcetti has a range of international experience, having lived and worked in Asia as well as Europe and Africa.
A Rhodes’ scholar, he has served as Los Angeles' first Deputy Mayor for International Affairs, where he expanded L.A.'s global ties to bring more jobs, economic opportunity, culture, education, and visitors to the city, according to Los Angeles’ government website.
“Ambassadorship to India is a critical position for strengthening ties between the world’s largest and the world’s oldest democracy, and President Biden has made an excellent choice in Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti,” said IMPACT executive director, Neil Makhija.
“As Mayor, Eric Garcetti oversaw the vaccine deployment in the nation’s second largest city, where over 50 per cent of people over the age of 16 are now vaccinated. Garcetti understands the urgency and reality of addressing climate change, is familiar with geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region from his service in the US Navy,” he said.
“As a trusted ally of President Biden, Eric Garcetti will make great strides in strengthening diplomatic ties between the United States and India as ambassador, especially during this time of humanitarian crisis,” Makhija said. PTI LKJ RS RS