Arun Singh back in the already familiar United States
United States is no new country for Arun Singh. He has served in the Washington DC as Deputy Chief of Mission when the former Indian secretary for external affairs Nirupama Rao was serving in the U.S. as ambassador. Arun Singh served at various positions since then and has been now appointed as India’s ambassador to the United States, replacing S. Jaishankar who has been called by PM Narendra Modi to give a new fillip to India’s external affairs as the new foreign secretary. S. Jaishankar has already taken up the charge and is presently on a visit to Pakistan. The appointment of Arun Singh back in the U.S. is being seen as an attempt to continue on the good work done there during the ambassadorship of S. Jaishankar in terms of fostering relationships between the two countries.
Prior to his appointment to the U.S., Arun Singh was serving as India’s envoy to Paris, will take over the ambassadorial assignment in Washington DC, replacing S Jaishankar, who was appointed foreign secretary on January 28. An IFS officer of the 1979 batch, Singh has already spent five years in Washington as deputy chief of mission (which is an ambassadorial position in MEA). Prior to that he was India’s ambassador to Israel. When in the head office, Singh had managed the tough Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan desk between August 2001 and April 2005, which was the challenging times in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Bureaucratic circles are upbeat and see the appointment of a senior person like Arun Singh as a positive move by the Modi administration. Commenting on the appointment, senior bureaucrat Prakash M Swamy said: “Welcome back Arun Singh, India’s new envoy to the United States. He was Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Indian Embassy in Washington under Nirupama Rao ambassadorship. A good friend of mine, Arun is a very seasoned and suave diplomat. I am happy that Modiji Government chose a career diplomat than political appointee.”