Burleigh interim US ambassador to India

June 30th, 2011 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) With Timothy J. Roemer heading back to Washington, A. Peter Burleigh, a veteran Hindi-speaking American diplomat, will take charge Friday as interim US ambassador to India.

Burleigh, who has spent 33 years as a career diplomat in important postings across the world, is no stranger to India.

He was posted in New Delhi from April to July 2009 as charge d’affaires in the US embassy here in the transition period after then ambassador David Mulford left for Washington and till the appointment of Roemer.

He will be the interim ambassador until he is confirmed by the US Senate. It is not clear whether he will succeed Roemer as ambassador or is a stop-gap arrangement until Washington finds another successor.

A veteran South Asia hand, Burleigh has served in Sri Lanka and Maldives and Nepal. He speaks fluent Hindi, Bengali, Nepali and Sinhalese.

On his last day in office Thursday, Roemer, spent nearly two years in India as the US’ ambassador, interacted with Indian students on the expansive lawns of India Gate.

He also spoke to the media and reiterated Washington’s commitment to clean waiver given by the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008 for carrying out full civilian nuclear cooperation with India.

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