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Eric Garcetti sworn in as US Ambassador to India

US Embassy in India has been without an ambassador since January 2021

Harris US India Eric Garcetti, left, with his daughter Maya Garcetti, reacts after being sworn in as Ambassador to India by Vice President Kamala Harris, right, in Washington | AP

Eric Garcetti, the former Mayor of Los Angeles, was officially sworn in as the US Ambassador to India on Friday by Vice President Kamala Harris during a ceremonial event in Washington.

The US Senate confirmed Garcetti's nomination earlier this month, ending a protracted hiatus of over two years to fill the key diplomatic position.

Garcetti's nomination was pending before the US Congress since July 2021 when he was nominated by President Joe Biden.

Garcetti's daughter Maya held the Hebrew Bible during the swearing-in ceremony, which was presided by Vice President Kamala Harris. The ceremony was attended by his close family members, including wife Amy Wakeland, father Gil Garcetti, mother Sukey Garcetti and mother-in-law Dee Wakeland.

I cannot wait to serve, Garcetti said, when asked about his new diplomatic assignment.

Garcetti, 52, was not confirmed by the Senate in President Biden's first two years in office amid concerns by some lawmakers that he had not adequately handled allegations of sexual assault and harassment against a former senior adviser.

President Biden renominated him to the same position in January this year. Garcetti supporters argued that geopolitical concerns were too important to leave India without an ambassador.

The US Embassy in India has been without an ambassador since January 2021, the longest stretch in the history of US-India relations that the post has sat vacant, since Kenneth Juster, the last US envoy in New Delhi, stepped down after the change of government in America. 

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