Pompeo praises work of outgoing US point person for South Asia

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 May 2020, 23:38 GMT]
Acting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia (SCA) Alice Wells, who has been serving under US President Donald Trump for over three years now, is set to retire later this month. Ms Alice has advanced strong US-India ties to unprecedented levels but was also touching human rights issues on Kashmir. “I want to give a shout out to one of my colleagues, Alice Wells, as she prepares to depart the State Department. She has done remarkable work,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Wednesday. Ms Wells was serving in Acting position and not made Assistant Secretary of State for SCA during the well-appreciated tenure. After Indian-American Nisha Biswal, the position of Assistant Secretary of State for SCA has remained vacant for over three years.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Thomas Laszlo Vajda will be serving as the SCA Bureau’s senior bureau official on an interim basis, according to media reports.

Mr Vajda, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of minister-counsellor, has been overseeing US policy towards and relations with India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Bhutan.

Between 2014 and 2017, Vajda served as US Consul General in Mumbai.

In the meantime, US President Donald Trump has also nominated Mr Vajda for the position of US Ambassador to Burma (Myanmar), which is awaiting approval by the US Senate.


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