Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 2 January 2018) – Indian government has announced the name of Vijay Gokhale, an officer with formidable experience on China and the East Asian neighbourhood, as its next Foreign Secretary.
Gokhale will replace S. Jayshankar, who is retiring on 28 January 2018. During his two years tenure, Jayshankar failed to execute the ”Neighbour First” policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi but maintained better relations with US.
Jayshankar has been a controversial Indian diplomat in Nepal as he rushed to Nepal as a special envoy of Prime Minister Modi to stop promulgating constitution just two days before the promulgation. The new Indian Foreign Secretary, who is known for his expertise on China and neighbourhood relations, may a fresh start on India’s neighbourhood relations.
Gokhale, a 1981-batch officer, currently Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, will take over from Dr. S. Jaishankar when he demits office on January 28, a notification issued by the Ministry of Personnel said on Monday.
Gokhale, who was Ambassador to China prior to moving back to the Ministry, has been widely credited with conducting delicate but tough diplomatic negotiations in Beijing during the Doklam crisis.
Mr Gokhale’s talks led to a peaceful resolution of the 70-day military standoff that ended just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to China for the BRICS summit in August 2017.
He was posted as Ambassador to China in 2015, his second stint in Beijing, and has also served in Hong Kong and Taipei. In addition, Gokhale was Ambassador to Malaysia (2010-2013) and has served in Vietnam.