Ambassador Nancy Powell's sudden resignation does not indicate any realignment of ties with India, the United States has said, asserting there is "no big behind the scenes story" that led her to quit.
"All the rumours and speculation are, quite frankly, totally false. She is retiring, after 37 years -- returning home to Delaware by the end of May," US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters when asked about US envoy Powell's announcement that she has sent her resignation to President Barack Obama.
"I don't have further insight into why she chose now, but it's not at all related to anything happening in the relationship. It doesn't indicate any realignment of the relationship.”
"It is in no way related to any tension, any recent situations. There's no big behind the scenes story here," Harf said.
When asked if Powell's resignation reflected any "realignment of diplomatic relations between India and the US seven days before the elections", she said there's "no big secret" to the timing here.
In an unexpected development, Powell, 66, resigned on Monday, in the midst of general elections in India. "She announced that she has submitted her resignation to President Obama, as has been planned for some time.
"This is the end of a distinguished 37-year career, she deserves to retire - that has included postings as US ambassador to Uganda, Ghana, Pakistan, Nepal and India, as well as service in a number of other locations. But I want to dispel any rumours out there that this is related in any way to anything besides her long-planned retirement," Harf said.
No decision has been made about Powell's replacement. The US said the key partnership with India will continue under whoever is named the next ambassador.
Image: Reports in the media linked Ambassdor Nancy Powell's resignation to tension between India-US ties