Khobragade incident has strengthened Indo-US ties

Washington:  The US has said the aftermath of last year’s Devyani Khobragade incident has led to the development of closer ties and closer communication with India.

“I think that despite the fact that we had this very uncomfortable and unfortunate situation that we had to work through, at the end of the day I think we have developed closer ties and closer communication with our two systems as a result,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal said.

We have certainly spent many, many long hours discussing with our Indian colleagues ways to ensure that we have greater understandings and greater clarity about our expectations of each other under each other’s laws and under each other’s systems, she said.

“I think that has been time well spent. We’ve also focused a great deal on ensuring that we have more clear and transparent communication to ensure that we anticipate problems before they happen, that we clearly communicate those problems and that we resolve them,” she said.

Khobragade, a 1999 batch India Foreign Service (IFS) officer and mother of two daughters has now returned to India. However, the US has still not withdrawn the allegations against her. Both Khobragade and the Indian Government has denied those charges.

“Indo-US ties were strained in December 2013 when the US arrested Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade for underpaying her Indian maid while serving at the Indian consulate in New York.

BJP’s assumption of power offers an opportunity to move beyond the Khobragade episode and revive ties by focusing on building cooperation on defence, security, economic and trade, counterterrorism, and other issues of mutual concern.

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