"We continue to believe that we can maintain our strong historic relationship and that what our focus is," the State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki said. She was responding to questions on the latest steps taken by the Indian Government including orders to stop any commercial activities within the US Embassy premises in New Delhi.
She said the US will not air any of its grievances with India in the public domain. "What I will say is that as we have concerns, we will express those privately, which is often the case with diplomatic issues." "But we've been addressing their diplomatic notes as they've come up. It's important to note, many of them are highly technical and complicated issues. And we'll continue to work through that process," she said.
The spokesperson, however, did not give any detail of US concerns. She also refused to describe as "reciprocity", the steps being taken by India in the aftermath of the arrest Devyani Khobragade on charges of visa fraud and misrepresentation in New York last month. "I don't believe this falls into the category, but obviously we're working through any requests they have and working closely with the government," Psaki said.
Both India and the United States want to move this relationship, she said. "I think our view is that both sides want to move this relationship forward...... we've had a range of private conversations with them and that's our belief as the United States government," she said. Psaki insisted that its always the endeavour of US officials to follow local laws overseas. "We of course endeavour to always be in compliance with local laws and regulations. The Indian diplomatic notes, which I believe is what you were referring to, raise highly technical and complicated issues.
"We're continuing our conversations with the government and response to their diplomatic communication and asks with the importance of our broad relationship in mind," she said. The US, she said, has provided interim responses where appropriate. "We continue to review and discuss all requests for action. We're working of course closely with the government of India on that," Psaki said.
A 1999-batch IFS officer, Khobragade was arrested on charges of making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard. She was released on a USD 250,000 bond.