Powell will be leaving as India’s month-long election comes to an end, and the country’s next prime minister is chosen.
A senior administration official, acknowledging that Powell was leaving her post at the end of May, said in an e-mail to the Loop, “I assure you that it is in no way related [to] the Khobragade affair” and her decision “was not unexpected.”
And at a Monday briefing, deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf strongly denied that Powell’s resignation was anything but a 37-year career diplomat retiring after serving posts all over the world, including ambassadorships in Pakistan, Nepal and Uganda. “All the rumors and speculation are, quite frankly, totally false,” Harf said.
Powell’s decision to leave “is in no way related to any tensions…,” Harf said. “There’s no big behind-the-scenes story here.”