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State Department says it will respond to Indian diplomatic reciprocity attacks 'privately'

The U.S. Department of State says it will communicate any concerns it has with the Indian government "privately" in response to new restrictions it placed on U.S. diplomats in the country; India began taking what it calls "reciprocal" actions after one of its diplomats claimed mistreatment during her arrest in New York.
Posted By JC Finley   |   Jan. 9, 2014 at 3:43 PM   |   Comments

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Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State says it is continuing a dialogue with the Indian government following a series of "reciprocal" actions taken by India following claims that an Indian diplomat posted to New York was mistreated during her arrest, an accusation U.S. authorities have denied.

At the State Department daily press briefing on Wednesday, spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked about the U.S. relationship with India, and India's latest actions to restrict American diplomatic personnel in India.

When pressed whether U.S. officials were bothered by India's public pronouncements and restrictions that one reporter characterized as "a childish game" of "public tantrums," Psaki replied that "our view is that both sides want to move this relationship forward" and that "as we have concerns, we'll express those privately."

On Monday, India's Ministry of Foreign Affairs directed the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on Monday to shut down all "commercial activities" at the embassy's American club.

The diplomatic drama began in December 2013 when Indian deputy consul general Devyani Khobragade, 39, was arrested for making false statements in support of a visa application for an Indian national whom she had brought to New York as part of her household staff, and paying the staff member less than minimum wage.

Tensions sparked between India and the U.S. when Khobragade alleged mistreatment during her arrest, an accusation denied by the State Department, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office. In retribution, Indian officials snubbed a U.S. congressional delegation and ordered the removal of barricades that protect the American embassy in Dehli in December.

[State Department]
[UPI]

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Topics: Jen Psaki
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