News / Asia

US Ambassador’s Resignation Could Improve India Ties

FILE - U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell.
FILE - U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell.
Anjana Pasricha
— The resignation of the U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell could pave the way for improved ties with India. Observers hope the veteran diplomat's departure will reset ties that have been rocky since the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York.  

Powell's resignation came as no surprise in New Delhi. Reports about her imminent exit had swirled in the Indian capital for weeks following a rough patch in ties between the two countries.
 
In  Washington Monday, U.S. State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf, denied reports that Powell’s resignation is linked to a recent diplomatic spat. Harf said the diplomat is retiring after a distinguished career.
 
“It is in no way related to any tension, any recent situations. There’s no big behind-the-scenes story here,” she told reporters.

Clean slate
 
FILE - Devyani Khobragade, who served as India’s deputy consul general in New York, leaves Maharastra state house in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2014.FILE - Devyani Khobragade, who served as India’s deputy consul general in New York, leaves Maharastra state house in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2014.
x
FILE - Devyani Khobragade, who served as India’s deputy consul general in New York, leaves Maharastra state house in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2014.
FILE - Devyani Khobragade, who served as India’s deputy consul general in New York, leaves Maharastra state house in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2014.
In New Delhi however, analysts saw it as a move by Washington to wipe the slate clean [reset relations] on the ugly row over the arrest and strip search of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York. They say it also sets the stage for doing business with a new Indian government, which will be in place by end of May.
 
Khobragade has returned to India but her arrest last December on charges of underpaying her nanny has not been forgotten in Delhi.   
 
Upcoming election
 
FILE - Naendra ModiFILE - Naendra Modi
x
FILE - Naendra Modi
FILE - Naendra Modi
However the bigger problem looming in bilateral ties is the U.S. approach so far to the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi. According to polls he could win enough votes to form a new government after elections conclude in mid May.    
 
It was during Ambassador Powell’s tenure that Modi emerged on the national political stage and became a serious challenger to the Congress-led government.
 
Modi had been barred from traveling to the U.S. and several Western countries for not doing enough to stop the 2002 religious riots that killed 1000 people, mostly Muslims in his Gujarat state. But several European countries built diplomatic bridges with him last year.
 
Powell held her first meeting with Modi only six weeks ago.  Analysts in New Delhi describe her move as “too little, too late.”
 
Chairman of the Center for U.S and Latin American studies at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, Chintamani Mahapatra, says Washington has been slow in reaching out to Modi.
 
“There are certain issues which could have been handled in a slightly better way. 2005 was the year when he was denied a visa and it is 2014, almost eight years plus have passed and no serious steps have been taken yet, although Powell met him. This is not the language if they want to really reset the button. That is why I think Washington is making a subtle move and trying to have a new kind of interaction with potentially a new government in Delhi," said Mahapatra.
          
Powell will leave her post by the end of May. Observers in New Delhi hope that the new ambassador will be a “political heavyweight” and not a career diplomat like Powell.
 
“This gives an opportunity for the U.S. administration to start a process by appointing an important person as an ambassador who can restore the strategic partnership between the two countries and interactions will be more cordial and friendly rather than exchange of bitter words," said New Delhi observer Mahapatra.
 
Other observers say diplomatic and trade tensions during Powell’s tenure escalated following a period of drift in ties between the two countries as both the Obama administration and the Indian government failed to tap the relationship’s potential.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sharoon
April 01, 2014 1:21 PM
As mentioned too little too late!!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid