Shortly after announcing that more than $ 100 million in aid was destined for India, the Biden administration announced the appointment of Daniel Smith, director of the Foreign Service Institute, as the new charge d’affaires by acting at the United States Embassy. in New Delhi.

Mr. Biden has yet to appoint an ambassador to India.

Mr Smith served as acting secretary of state for a few days after Mike Pompeo resigned from the Trump administration and before Antony Blinken was sworn in as secretary of state.

“Ambassador Smith has the highest rank in the Foreign Service career ambassador,” a State Department statement said.

Mr Smith’s appointment was announced the same day the White House issued travel restrictions for India. Perhaps now was the time to soften the impact of the former. On a practical level, the acting appointment is also likely to facilitate US-India cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

“Ambassador Smith’s appointment underscores the United States’ strong commitment to our partnership with the Government of India and the Indian people. He will lead close cooperation with India to ensure that our countries continue to advance our common priorities, including tackling the global pandemic, ”a State Department statement said.