`Reciprocity is cardinal principle of diplomatic relations`

Shashi Tharoor said after ill-treatment meted out to Indian Diplomat, government reacted with outrage as the spirit of its approach was not reciprocated.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 18, 2013, 23:41 PM IST

New Delhi: Describing "reciprocity as the cardinal principle" of diplomatic relations, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said after ill-treatment meted out to Indian Diplomat the government reacted with outrage as the spirit of its approach was not reciprocated.

Asked whether India`s move was a retaliation, Tharoor said that it would be unfair to call it so as his government had not "stripped searched" any American diplomat.

"Reciprocity is the cardinal principle of diplomatic relations. When we found that the spirit of our approach was not being reciprocated in the way in which one of our diplomat was treated, naturally we reacted with outrage because we do not expect this from a friendly nation and this was not a friendly act," Tharoor told reporters when asked questions over the Khobragade issue.

He added that the fundamental relation with US was not in question as Indo-US relationship was valuable for India as well as them.

"We value it and we expect that US will also value it but we can`t value it more than the US values their friendship with us," Tharoor said.

"We have extended certain courtesy and we no longer find it appropriate to extend. If they want to impose a very strict interpretation of US law, we will impose a strict interpretation of Indian law on US personnel...These things happen reciprocally," he said.

He said that in this case Devyani Khobragade was a diplomat serving the nation abroad and not in US for pleasure and has been treated in an unexpectable manner.

"For us not to react would have demoralised our diplomatic representatives around the world who must know that India stands by them when situations arise like this,"he added.

"It is important for us to recognise that what happened in this particular incident was an outrageous violations of the standards we would expect any country with which we have friendly relations to treat any of our diplomatic personnel," said Tharoor.