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Shiv Shankar Menon to be new Foreign Secretary

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Aug 31 (UNI) Mr Shiv Shankar Menon, India's High Commissioner to Pakistan, was today named the new Foreign Secretary, succeeding Mr Shyam Saran, who has been appointed Special Envoy for negotiations on the Indo-US Nuclear Deal.

''Mr Shiv Shankar Menon, presently India's High Commissioner to Pakistan, will be the next Foreign Secretary of India. He will take charge from October one. 2006. Mr Shyam Saran will be the Special Envoy for the negotiations relating to the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement,'' an official statement said.

Mr Menon (53), one of India's most accomplished diplomats, is expected to take up his assignment on October one after Mr Saran retires on September 30.

Mr Menon had been the High Commissioner in Islamabad at the most crucial juncture when Indo-Pak relations were on an upswing following the initiatives taken by the previous NDA government.

Similarly Mr Saran is credited with cozying up of relations between India and the US, culminating in the July 18, 2005 Civilian Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement.

His tenure has also seen India's strong bid and subsequent lobbying for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council and some hard diplomacy on the G-4 initiative.

Mr Menon played a crucial role in facilitating a meeting between then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in January 2004 on the margins of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad which led to the initiation of the bilateral peace process between India and Pakistan.

MORE UNI RB AT KP1554

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