The churning within the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is set to continue, with another list of over a dozen new ambassadorial appointments expected next week.
Long-serving senior officials in the headquarters will finally be given crucial envoy jobs. It is learnt that there may be 18 new appointments, some of which have already been decided.
Joint secretary incharge of East Asia Gautam Bambawale is in the fray to handle sensitive relations with Bhutan, where V P Haran is scheduled to retire mid-year. The 1984 batch IFS officer had earlier eyed the post in Malaysia when it fell vacant last year, but he was asked to stay back by then new foreign secretary Sujatha Singh to take care of his crucial portfolio.
While Bambawale has been at the headquarters for more than three years, the record for the longest serving joint secretary goes to Ajay Bisaria, who looks after Eurasia -- Russia and central Asian countries. His name is being mentioned for the ambassador’s post in Warsaw.
Vikram Doraiswami, who has been on the Americas desk, is also likely to leave headquarters, and is likely to be sent to Uzbekistan. In another move, Ruchi Ghansyam, additional secretary (Europe west), would be sent to South Africa as the next Indian high commissioner.