India looking at redressal of outstanding issues by US

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 21:03

New Delhi: A day after External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid raised "concerns" relating to Devyani Khobragade episode with his American counterpart John Kerry, India is now looking at redressal of outstanding issues by the US in this regard.

India and the US have a broad-based relationship on wide range of issues, the spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry noted but said "it is also a fact that we were faced with a situation that we think should have never happened and therefore, there is a need to address and resolve the issues that relate to that situation."

Admitting that the arrest and subsequent treatment meted out to senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade by the US authorities has "distressed" the country, the spokesperson said the episode has also caused "stress" to the Indo-US relationship.
He said, "Our concern is that in a democracy when there are established avenues for resolving issues, why is a country required to resort to evacuating people from that country to another country. That is what the External Affairs Minister has raised in the meeting (with Kerry)."

A 1999 batch IFS officer, Khobragade was arrested on December 12 on visa fraud charges and subsequently strip-searched before she was released on a bail of USD 250,000, evoking a sharp reaction by the government here which withdrew extra privileges enjoyed by the US diplomats posted in India.

India was also upset over visas issued by the US embassy to the three family members -- husband and two children of Richard, saying that American diplomatic mission facilitated the illegal immigration of the family to the US.
Richard`s family flew to New York on December 10, two days ahead of Khobragade`s arrest in New York, on the air tickets provided by the US Embassy`s official travel agency.

On the takeaway of Khurshid-Kerry meeting, he said there was an understanding that there was a need to resolve the issues which relates to the fallout of Khobragade episode.

Khurshid and Kerry, who met on the sidelines of Geneva-II talks on Syria in the Swiss resort city of Montreux yesterday, also recognised the need to put in place institutional arrangements to look at all outstanding issues relating to the privileges and immunities of diplomats of both countries so that such issues could be resolved in a timely manner.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 21:03

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