Trade deal, better relations on top US envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu’s agenda
Taranjit Singh Sandhu, who was on Tuesday named India’s new envoy to the US, is a career diplomat with more than 30 years of experience and has had two earlier stints in the Indian mission in Washington.
Among the key tasks he will have to take on after assuming his new position is coordinating US President Donald Trump’s expected visit to India in February and guiding the talks for a trade deal between the two countries that is aimed at addressing irritants and differences that have emerged in recent years.
Sandhu, currently the high commissioner to Sri Lanka, was deputy chief of mission in Washington from 2013 to 2017. He also served as the first secretary at the embassy in Washington responsible for liaising with the US Congress between 1997 and 2000.
The post of ambassador to the US fell vacant when the previous incumbent, Harsh Shringla, was named the next foreign secretary. Shringla is set to take up his new assignment on January 29.
HT reported on January 15 that Sandhu was set to get the top US assignment.
Sandhu, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1988, was appointed as the envoy to Sri Lanka in January 2017 after his second Washington stint. He has also served as India’s consul general in Frankfurt from 2011 to 2013 and in the external affairs ministry between New Delhi 2009 and 201, first as joint secretary (United Nations) and later as joint secretary (Administration).
He also served at India’s permanent mission to the UN in New York during 2005-09 and as head of the political wing in the high commission in Colombo during 2000-04. Sandhu has also had stints in the erstwhile Soviet Union. His wife Reenat Sandhu is the ambassador to Italy.