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US ambassador to India quits after rift

US ambassador to India, Nancy J Powell arrives for a meeting on May 22, 2012The US ambassador to India resigned Monday in the wake of a bitter rift between the usually friendly countries following a diplomat’s arrest in New York. The announcement by Nancy Powell, a veteran diplomat with extensive experience in South Asia, comes days before India heads into elections in which the Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi — formerly a US pariah — is forecast by polls to become prime minister. Powell, who has been ambassador for less than two years, submitted her resignation to President Barack Obama and announced her decision at a meeting of staff in New Delhi, said the statement issued by the embassy. She is leaving after the worst crisis between the United States and India since they started building a warmer relationship in the 1990s.

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