Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee will head the Indian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly later this month.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision indicates that both a Cabinet reshuffle and the appointment of a full-time foreign minister have been deferred.
The PM is visiting Brazil and Cuba from September 10. Since his state visit to Brazil means he will miss the pre-NAM summit dinner in Havana, he has asked external affairs minister of state Anand Sharma to represent him at the dinner.
The PM reaches Cuba a day later for the NAM summit, accompanied by foreign secretary designate Shiv Shankar Menon, and he may meet Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines.
At a recent dinner for MPs of the UPA and supporting parties, the PM hinted that a new foreign minister may lead India at the UNGA in his place. That appears to be off for the moment.