South Asia hand Burleigh takes charge of US mission

July 1st, 2011 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) Veteran diplomat and South Asia specialist A. Peter Burleigh Friday took charge as the charge d’affaires of the US mission in India.

“Ambassador Burleigh’s substantial diplomatic experience and many years in South Asia provides leadership to the US mission in India and will continue to nurture the important bilateral relationship until a permanent ambassador is nominated by the White House,” the US embassy said in a statement here Friday.

Burleigh assumes charge as the interim ambassador a day after Timothy J. Roemer demitted office after serving as the US ambassador in New Delhi for a little over two years.

Burleigh is no stranger to India and 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.

A senior diplomat with 33 years in the foreign service, Burleigh took charge of the US mission in India weeks ahead of the India-US strategic dialogue and at a challenging time when Washington and New Delhi are trying to take the relationship to another level.

Burleigh also has an impressive resume of working in the UN at a time when the Security Council was grappling with Iraq, Kosovo, and East Timor crises along with many African issues. He was ambassador and deputy representative of the US to the United Nations from August 1997 until December 1999 and charge of the mission from September 1998 to August 1999.

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

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