WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday said his administration will continue to work with the Pakistani government to obtain the release of the American diplomat Raymond Davis who is accused of murder.
"We've got a very simple principle here that every country in the world that is party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations has upheld in the past and should uphold in the future, and that is if our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country's local prosecution," Obama said at a press conference at the White House.
"We respect it with respect to diplomats who are here. We expect Pakistan, that's a signatory, recognize Mr. Davis as a diplomat to abide by the same convention," the president added.
On January 27, Davis shot at two individuals riding on a motorcycle at Mazang Chowk in Lahore. Davis claimed the victims were attempting to rob him and acted in self-defense.
"We're concerned about the loss of life. We're not callous about that. But there's a broader principle at stake that I think we have to uphold," Obama told reporters.
The U.S. Embassy said last month Davis identified himself to police as a diplomat and repeatedly requested immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
"Local police and senior authorities failed to observe their legal obligation to verify his status with either the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore or the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad," the Embassy said in the statement.
U.S. Senator John Kerry arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday to meet with senior Pakistani government officials in an attempt to ease the political crisis over the detention of Davis.
"I know that in recent days emotions have been very stressed by an extraordinarily unfortunate incident involving a diplomat assigned to the United States Embassy. We're all aware of that,” Kerry said at a news conference in Lahore.
"I want to come here today to express our deepest regret for this tragic event and to express the sorrow of the American people for the loss of life that has taken place," he added.
The visit comes just days after the United States on Saturday announced that it postponed a planned trilateral meeting with Afghanistan and Pakistan expected to be held on February 23-24.
(BNO NEWS )