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India, US commit to move forward post Devyani case

US India

The “challenging” past few weeks for bilateral ties, India and the US have pledged to work on a broad range of issues including defence
US IndiaWashington: Not with standing the “challenging” past few weeks for bilateral ties, India and the US have pledged to work on a broad range of issues including defence, counter-terrorism and civil nuclear cooperation.

US Deputy Secretary of State William J Burns hosted the new Indian Ambassador S Jaishankar for a productive lunch meeting yesterday at the State Department headquarters as they discussed the forward movement in ties post the Devyani Khobragade case.

During the meeting, the two diplomats affirmed their shared commitment to continue joint India-US work on issues such as clean energy and climate change, defence, economic and trade engagement, counter-terrorism, and civil nuclear development.

It is in this regard that the two discussed initial preparations for a range of upcoming bilateral meetings and exchanges.

“They agreed that the past several weeks have been challenging, and affirmed that we are both committed to moving forward to resume cooperation on the broad range of bilateral issues before us,” the State Department said.

Burns and Jaishankar also discussed the variety of issues raised by the Ministry of External Affairs via diplomatic note, including alleged issues with the American Embassy School.

“Burns conveyed that we take their concerns very seriously and will continue to address them via appropriate diplomatic channels,” the State Department said.

This was the first meeting between the two after former Deputy Consul General Khobragade returned to India last week.

Khobragade, 39, was arrested last month on charges of visa fraud and misrepresentation of facts, which have been refuted by the senior Indian diplomat. Her arrest and alleged mistreatment resulted in a major diplomatic row.

India took several retaliatory measures like reducing the diplomatic privileges of American diplomats in India and bringing it at par with what Indian diplomats get in the US.

Jaishankar has also met John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

So far he has met 15 top American lawmakers and in all these meetings Jaishankar is believed to have taken up India’s concerns on the proposed immigration reform and the need to ensure that the H-1B employers are treated in a fair manner.

Jaishankar is understood to have put across the Indian point of view on the Khobragade case.


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