New Delhi: India is expected to announce its new ambassador to the US soon to succeed incumbent Ronen Sen, who is set to return on completion of his tenure in March.
Sen, who was recently embroiled in a controversy over his ‘headless chicken’ remark, is unlikely to get a further extension, sources said on Monday. The 64-year-old diplomat, who has been in Washington, DC, since August 2004, is also not keen on getting an extension and is understood to have conveyed this to the Union government.
The nearly four-year tenure of Sen was marked by growth in Indo-US relations, with the civil nuclear deal being the highlight.
Sen was in a soup in the middle of last year when he reportedly equated Indian Parliamentarians with ‘headless chicken.’ The remark angered the legislators, who sought his recall. Although Sen apologized and insisted that the comment was not against the parliamentarians, he was summoned by the privileges committees of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
Significantly, Sen’s tenure is ending at a time when the two countries are making efforts to operationalize the nuclear deal. Commenting on Sen’s departure from Washington, DC, US envoy to India David Mulford said he had been an “effective ambassador” who served New Delhi’s “interests very well”.
Sen, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1966, was earlier the Indian ambassador to Mexico, the Russian Federation, Germany, and was a high commissioner to the UK.
He was also a key member of the administration and served as the special envoy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for meetings with heads of state. In addition, Sen also served as joint secretary in the external affairs ministry from July 1984 to December 1985.