Harsh Vardhan Shringla takes over as new Foreign Secretary

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 29, 2020 Published on January 29, 2020

Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla (file photo)

Succeeds Vijay Gokhale, who has retired

Senior diplomat Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who has served as India’s Ambassador to the US and Thailand, and High Commissioner to Bangladesh, took charge as the country’s new Foreign Secretary on Wednesday for a period of two years. He succeeds Vijay Gokhale, who retired from service on Tuesday.

“As Foreign Secretary, I look forward to working with India’s many partners in the international system — in enhancing developmental and economic linkages, as well as connectivities, with our neighbours; building synergies with major powers; seeking a shared, undifferentiated and unambiguous approach to terrorism and the threat it poses to free societies; and sustaining the gains of a rules-based multilateral order,” said Shringla in an official statement circulated on Wednesday.

Diplomatic pressure

Shringla has assumed office at a time when India is facing diplomatic pressure over controversial political decisions such as the nullification of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and the introduction of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

“The primary objective of the MEA and the Indian Foreign Service is to advance our national interests across the world and serve the people of India, wherever they may be. We are service providers to our citizens and our people, whether at home or abroad. Enhancing the security and prosperity of India through external ties and the well-being of all Indians, wherever they may be, is our mission statement,” he said in the statement.

“Sharing India’s developmental experience with countries of the global south, especially with our friends in Africa and Latin America, will continue to be a priority,” the statement added.

Published on January 29, 2020
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