In the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi making better relations with Australia among his priorities, and heading to Canada on an official visit later this year, the government has appointed new ambassadors to the two countries.
Navdeep Suri, who was ambassador to Egypt, will now head to Canberra – he was earlier with the Public Diplomacy division at the MEA headquarters in New Delhi. Vishnu Prakash, ambassador in South Korea, will head to Ottawa in what will be an important role in setting the stage for the PM’s visit – he has also served as the ministry’s official spokesperson in Delhi.
The government has not yet decided on Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s replacement as India’s ambassador in Washington. While current envoy to France, Arun Singh, is the top contender, there is speculation of a political appointment of either a retired diplomat or someone outside the services. But MEA has traditionally liked to protect its turf and it is not yet clear who will be the chosen one.
The fact that all Indian heads of missions are currently in New Delhi for their annual conclave has given the new FS to interact with them, and discuss personnel issues with concerned stakeholders, sources said. More appointments and a reshuffle can be expected within the next few weeks.