In a significant move, Kenneth Juster, top aide of US President Donald Trump, is set to be America’s new ambassador to India, revealed White House sources. This comes just ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US. Juster, 62, is the Deputy Assistant to the US president for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of his National Economic Council. He will be replacing Indian-origin US envoy Richard Verma, but first, his appointment will have to be cleared by the Senate. Verma had quit after former US President Barack Obama resigned. Speaking to PTI, White House deputy spokesperson Lindsay E Walters said, “Ken Juster’s move to Indian Ambassador is because he is extremely qualified for the position.” The Washington Post had put out the initial report today. Ashley Telis, the top India expert in the US has given a thumbs up to the appointment.
PM Modi will visit the US, Portugal and the Netherlands beginning June 24. The biggest point on the agenda will be NSG. Both India and the US have maintained a low profile ahead of the NSG plenary session. The last session, which was held in Seoul witnessed, had witnessed active engagement between New Delhi and then Obama administration. New Delhi wants to garner support from these countries to ensure membership at Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The US had said that it would support India’s bid but the Modi government wants reaffirmation of assistance from Trump administration, says Indian Express report. India had said it would abide by the Paris Pact as one of the key arguments for its NSG membership.
China has so far blocked India’s entry to the elite bloc. Several other countries, including Turkey, Switzerland, Mexico and New Zealand, were among those which have stressed on the criteria-based approach. Also, Prime Minister will also hold talks with President Trump on regional security situation as also ways to enhance cooperation in bilateral areas of strategic importance.
(Further details awaited)