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State Department recalls diplomat from India in conciliatory move

The U.S. Department of State is recalling an American diplomat from India at the request of the Indian government, saying that it hopes this action will appease the Indian government so that the two countries can move their relationship "to a more constructive place."
Posted By JC Finley   |   Jan. 10, 2014 at 5:36 PM   |   Comments

Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of State announced Friday that it would recall a diplomat from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi at the request of the Indian government.

The unnamed diplomat was allegedly involved in taking "unilateral actions" to help evacuate an Indian family to New York because of their connection to the still-unfolding drama of federally indicted Indian Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the unidentified diplomat would be recalled in an effort to move U.S.-India relations forward.

"We deeply regret that the Indian government felt it was necessary to expel one of our diplomatic personnel. This has clearly been a challenging time in the US-India relationship. We expect and hope that this will now come to closure and the Indians will take significant steps with us to improve our relationship and return it to a more constructive place."

India sought to expel the American diplomat in what is considered the latest "reciprocal" action undertaken by India after Khobragade departed the U.S. Thursday evening, at the request of the U.S. Department of State.

Khobragade was arrested in December 2013 for making false statements in support of a visa application for Indian national Sangeeta Richard whom she had brought to New York to work as a nanny, and for paying Richard less than minimum wage. Khobragade was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday.

Indian authorities allege the U.S. diplomat, who is of a similar diplomatic rank as Khobragade, violated procedures when he arranged travel for Richard's family to New York.

Tensions sparked between India and the U.S. when Khobragade claimed 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 Delhi in December.

In January, India ordered the "cessation of commercial activities" at the U.S. Embassy's American Club.


[BBC]
[UPI]

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Topics: Jen Psaki
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