Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said he will soon name a new foreign minister, some seven months after K Natwar Singh had to resign unceremoniously.
"Hopefully soon," the prime minister told journalists on his way back from St Petersburg to attend the G8 Summit when queried if he was thinking of naming a cabinet minister to oversee India's foreign office.
"It can be anytime," is all he would add, when questions on the issue persisted.
The prime minister has been in charge of the external affairs ministry since December, helped by two ministers of state, Anand Sharma and E Ahamed.
There had been speculation that he would name a new foreign minister after seeing the Indo-US nuclear deal through.
The deal, that has cleared two important Congressional committees, is likely to be passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate by August.
Natwar Singh had to quit as external affairs minister in December last year over his alleged involvement in the UN's Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal.