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7:38 am - Saturday April 19, 2014

US, India meet to get ties back on track after dispute

15williamAgencies, Washington
US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns has met Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar here with the aim of getting bilateral ties back on track after the Devyani Khorbagde row.

Mr Burns hosted a ‘productive’ lunch meeting  with Mr Jaishankar yesterday and both sides affirmed the importance of the U.S.-India strategic partnership and ‘discussed initial preparations for a range of upcoming bilateral meetings and exchanges,’ a statement from the U.S. State Department said .

‘They agreed that the past several weeks have been challenging, and affirmed that we are both committed to moving forward to resume cooperation on the broad range of bilateral issues,’ the statement said.

The two officials also discussed matters raised by India’s Foreign Ministry during the dispute, including alleged issues with the American Embassy School, the statement said. Burns said Washington took the concerns ‘very seriously and will continue to address them via appropriate diplomatic channels.’    The statement said both Burns and Jaishankar ‘affirmed our shared commitment to continue joint U.S.-India work on issues such as clean energy and climate change, defense, economic and trade engagement, counterterrorism, and civil nuclear development.’

On Tuesday, a lawyer for Khobragade asked a U.S. judge to throw out the charges against her, arguing that her diplomatic status, granted by the State Department last week as part of a deal that saw her leave the country, gave her absolute immunity from prosecution, even for incidents that allegedly occurred before her accreditation.

Posted in: Nation, World

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