Navtej Sarna named new high commissioner to Britain

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) Navtej Singh Sarna, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, was on Saturday named India’s next high commissioner to Britain.

Sarna, a 1980-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, will replace Ranjan Mathai in London.

He is expected to take up his assignment shortly, an official release said.

The appointment comes days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Britain.

In the course of his career in the IFS, Sarna has served in a variety of positions in Delhi and abroad. Between 1980 and 2002, he worked in the Indian embassies in Moscow, Warsaw, Thimphu, Geneva, Tehran and Washington interspersed with assignments at headquarters.

He was the longest-serving spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, serving from 2002 to 2008. From 2008 to 2012, he was India’s ambassador to Israel.

From August 2012 to August 2014, he was additional secretary/special secretary (international organisations and political). He became secretary (west) on September 1, 2014.

A prolific writer, Sarna is the author of two novels, a short story collection and three non-fiction books.

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