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US ambassador to leave India this week

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News,Nation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says U.S. ambassador to India Nancy Powell will leave her post this week.

Powell, a veteran diplomat, announced her intention to retire in late March, before recent national elections in India. Narendra Modi (nah-REN'-drah MOH'-dee) was chosen as prime minister of the new government Tuesday.

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Powell would depart India Thursday, ending a distinguished 37-year foreign service career.

Powell's two-year tenure in New Delhi was roiled by a spat between the U.S. and India over the strip-search of an Indian diplomat in New York City that badly damaged ties.

Kathleen Stephens, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, will serve as head of mission until a new permanent ambassador is nominated and confirmed.

Psaki said Stephens will arrive in Delhi in early June.

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