London:India's new high commissioner to the UK, Navtej Sarna, has taken charge of his new post at India House in London. Sarna, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1980 batch, is the 25th Indian high commissioner to the UK and will submit his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II Buckingham Palace as per diplomatic protocol in due course.
The envoy, who took charge this week, is scheduled to host his first major event in the UK on January 29 to mark the annual Republic Day celebrations in London. Sarna, among the longest-serving spokespersons of the Ministry of External Affairs between 2002 and 2008, is an author of many fiction and non-fiction books, with the most recent being 'Second Thoughts: On Books, Authors and the Writerly Life' released last year.
Sarna, among the longest-serving spokespersons of the Ministry of External Affairs between 2002 and 2008, is an author of many fiction and non-fiction books.
He was serving as Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs before his London posting and his diplomatic career has also included a term as India's Ambassador to Israel from 2008 to 2012. For two years from August 2012, Sarna served as additional secretary in-charge of international organisations.
He is well-versed in Russian and Polish languages and has served in various Indian missions, including Moscow, Warsaw, Tehran, Geneva, Thimphu and Washington. Sarna succeeds Ranjan Mathai, a former foreign secretary, who retired at the end of last year.