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India-US Ties Limping to Normalcy After Khobragade Issue

Published: 14th January 2014 07:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2014 07:41 AM   |  A+A-

Devyani-Khobragade_PTI

While the US hoped for “closure” in crisis, India has not yet fully endorsed that ties are now normalised, stating that relations with US are not “one-issue” and it will “take each day as it comes”.

On Friday, Devyani Khobragade returned back to India after she was granted the G-1 visa by the US State Department. However, the case against her for visa fraud and false statement continues to stand after she was indicted before a grand jury. And she cannot travel back to the US on an ordinary passport.

Since Devyani had been asked to leave after her immunity was not waived by India, New Delhi had asked US embassy to withdraw a diplomat, who is believed to be helped the evacuation of Sangeeta Richard’s (the maid)  family.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin confirmed that the US diplomat has left the country on Sunday.

Speaking on the future of ties bruised by the Khobragade episode, he said: “We will take each day as it comes because it is important to look back and forward. The relationship between India and the US is not a one-issue relationship”.

“We have a series of issues. We will take this matter after carefully examining what has been our experience in the past and we will move forward on this broad relationship that we have,” he added.

He referred to the scheduled event to be hosted by the Consulate General of India in New York along with the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, where both of the countries will symbolically dispatch $1.5 million in stolen Indian artifacts to bring them back.

“So, the point is that it is the same place where we had difficulties, we also have collaboration and cooperation. And that’s the nature of our relationship. It’s extremely broad, its wide-ranging, and you will have, on a day-to-day basis, a number of interactions,” he added.

Following the resolution, the first bilateral interaction was on Monday with a delegation from US’s office of the director of National Intelligence and a team of Joint Intelligence Team commencing their three-day biannual dialogue.

Despite the return of Khobragade, the privileges that had been withdrawn from US diplomats will not be reinstated soon.

“At this stage, there has been no change in the status quo,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said that the MEA was “vigorously” pursuing its proposal to make “significant” changes in the status of ‘Inida-based Domestic Assistants’ (IBDA) who are taken by Indian diplomats to US and Europe.

MEA spokesperson Akbaruddin said that the proposal had been with the finance ministry since the beginning of 2013.

 

Read all about the Devyani case here

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