MEA reshuffle, government clears postings of envoys to UK, UN


New Delhi: In a major reshuffle, the government has cleared key postings of Indian envoys to Pakistan, China, UK and the UN.

Navtej Sarna, currently secretary (west) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), will be the next envoy to London, replacing Ranjan Mathai. However, Sarna is expected to take over only after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in mid-November.

Gautam Bambawale, India’s ambassador to Bhutan, will take over as high commissioner to Pakistan, replacing T C A Raghavan who is set to retire on December 31.
Syed Akbaruddin, former MEA spokesperson who is currently the additional secretary in charge of Indo-Africa Summit to be held in October, will be India’s next permanent representative to the UN. He will replace Asoke Mukerji.

Vijay Gokhale, India’s ambassador to Germany, will take over from Ashok Kantha in Beijing. Other postings include that of Anil Wadhwa, secretary (east), as ambassador to Rome and Pankaj Saran, who will replace P S Raghavan in Moscow.

Harsh V Shringla, former joint secretary in charge of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar and currently Indian ambassador to Thailand, will be the next envoy to Bangladesh.

Sujan Chinoy, Indian ambassador to Mexico, will be going as ambassador to Japan, replacing Deepa Wadhwa. However, Wadhwa is expected to continue till Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit, likely to be in early December.

According to sources, most of these positions will be taken up by late December or early January. While Delhi has cleared the names, it has to await the approval of the foreign governments — except for the post of envoy to the UN.


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