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Appoint US Envoy to India on Priority: US Lawmaker Urges Trump

The White House refrained from responding to questions on delay in ambassadorial appointment to India.

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An influential US lawmaker has urged President Donald Trump to appoint America's new ambassador to India on a priority basis, saying that Washington's relation with New Delhi is of utmost importance.

The position has been lying vacant since 20 January when Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States.

In June, the White House said that Kenneth I Juster, 62, a top economic aide of Trump and an expert on India, will be America's new ambassador to India.

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“As the co-founder and former chairman of the Congressional Caucus on India, Indian issues and representing one of the largest Indian-American constituencies in Congress, the relationship between our two great nations is of utmost importance to me and my constituencies. I urge you to make the appointment of a US ambassador to India a top priority of your administration,” Congressman Frank Pallone said in a letter to Trump.

The letter to Trump dated 22 August was posted by Pallone on Twitter.

India is "our strongest ally" in South Asia, "which you referred in your address" to the nation on Monday, he said.

The White House refrained from responding to questions on delay in ambassadorial appointment to India.

However, without mentioning India, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refuted the reports that the absence of officials at key position is having an impact on the efficiency of the State Department.

"In terms of our footprint on the ground, we have very competent, capable, experienced people there now," Tillerson told reporters at a news conference.

"We are looking at a couple of different people for the special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan position." Tillerson added.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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