Row over diplomat not to affect Indo-US defence ties: Antony

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 20:29

Kochi: Indo-US defence ties will not be impacted due to the issue relating to Indian diplomat Devayani Khobragade, Defence Minister A K Antony Tuesday said.

"I do not think that the issue will affect defence relations," he said replying to a question by reporters on the impact of the arrest of the 39-year-old senior diplomat in New York on December 12 on the charges of underpaying her maid and falsifying the contract documents.

To another question, he said Indian armed forces will have to remain vigilant 24x7 to safeguard the country`s borders as it continues to maintain peace and stability with China and Pakistan.

"On the one side you must continue to sincerely maintain peace and stability along both borders, at the same time Indian armed forces will have to 24x7 be vigilant to safeguard our borders..`. Antony said.

Asked about the frequent border tensions with China in 2013 and how he foresaw the coming year, he said he was not expecting any miracles.

"Unless both countries are able to find an everlasting solution to the border dispute and are able to demarcate the boundary, I cannot rule out the possibility of occurrences of such incidents`, he said.

India shares a land border of 3500 km with China, he said.

"Following the recent border cooperation agreement between the two countries, even though incidents are still taking place, unlike in the past, immediately both countries are engaging and without long delays, the issues are settled. That is one silver lining," he said.
"Total elimination of incursions you cannot expect unless and until the border is fully secure," he said adding, the border cooperation will help the two countries to sort out the issue without much delay.

With regard to Pakistan, Antony said even though this year there was maximum number of ceasefire violations, of late since the last few weeks, such incidents were less.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 20:29

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