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Eric Garcetti sworn in as US Ambassador to India

Eric Garcetti, President Joe Biden's close aide, was officially sworn in as the US Ambassador to India by Vice President Kamala Harris, ending over two years of delay to fill one of Washington's most critical diplomatic positions. Garcetti's daughter Maya held the Hebrew Bible during the swearing-in ceremony on Friday, which was presided by Vice President Harris.

Garcetti raised his right hand while Harris performed the ceremony, and family members cheered when the two longtime friends shook hands.

The ceremony was attended by his close family members, including wife Amy Wakeland, father Gil Garcetti, mother Sukey Garcetti and mother-in-law Dee Wakeland.

"It feels great. Can't wait to serve," Garcetti, 52, said when asked about his new diplomatic assignment.

"I'm so honoured the vice president did this," he said.

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff also attended the event.

Former Mayor of Los Angeles Garcetti's nomination was pending before the US Congress since July 2021 when he was nominated by President Biden.

The Senate voted 52 to 42 to confirm Garcetti earlier this month after his nomination stalled amid concerns by some lawmakers that he had not adequately handled allegations of sexual assault and harassment against a former senior adviser.

India's envoy here Taranjit Singh Sandhu met Garcetti soon after his swearing-in ceremony.

"Congratulated @ericgarcetti on his swearing-in as the Ambassador of America to India," Indian Ambassador to Washington Sandhu tweeted after the meeting on Friday.

"As he prepares to depart for India, we discussed some immediate priorities in deepening the bilateral partnership, in line with our Leaders' vision," Sandhu said.

He said he looked forward to working with Garcetti.

Garcetti's nomination was not brought to the Senate floor for a vote during the last Congress as the ruling Democratic Party did not have enough support to get him through.

President Biden renominated him to the same position in January this year.

Garcetti supporters argued that geopolitical concerns were too important to leave India without an ambassador.

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