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Khobragade episode ‘painful period’ for bilateral ties: US

Wednesday, Aug 5, 2015,21:21 IST By metro vaartha A A A

New York | Describing the Devyani Khobragade episode as a painful period in Indo-US ties, the US has said the incident has led to important learnings and there is a determination to avoid such instances. US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal said following the episode, there are things that the US has tried to do differently in terms of its officials in India.
Asked about the Khobragade episode at her talk on US- India relations at the Consulate General of India’s Media-India Lecture Series, Biswal said the incident involving the former Deputy Counsel General was a painful period in the bilateral relationship. Both governments learned some important lessons and we achieved some important understandingsand clarity in how to operate in each others’ systems, with more clarity to the expectations that we each have of the other, she said.
Khobragade, a former Indian Deputy Consul General here, was arrested in December 2013 on charges of visa fraud. The charges were rejected by her. Her arrest and mistreatment resulted in a major diplomatic row between India and the US. India took several retaliatory measures like reducing the diplomatic privileges of American diplomats in the country and bringing it at par with what Indian diplomats get in the US.
Biswal further said, following the episode, there are things that the US has tried to do differently in terms of its officials in India. Wehad very important learnings that came out of that episode. There is a determination to avoid such instances, she said,addingthat both India and the USwork in complex and highly regulatedenvironments.
We have very robust and opensocietiesand so it is going to be complex in managing all of the different aspects of thisrelationship, she said. There will be timeswhen things gowrong, when some American official could violate rules and regulations and we will have to deal with it and vice versa, Biswal said. She said the countries have to learn how to operate within each others’ walls and it gets complicated at times but a partof the business of diplomacy is navigating the complex issues.

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