U.S must understand the value of partnership and retain dignity of Khobragade: Salman Khurshid
New Delhi – Taking a stand on the case of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested and strip searched in New York last Thursday, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Saturday that the Unites States of America must understand the value of its partnership with India, and retain and maintain the dignity of Khobragade.
“The two important valuable friends must be able to sort out the issue. The U.S is a valuable partner and must understand the value of partnership,” said Khurshid.
“Is it unreasonable to say that people who are your strategic partners have one small expectation; that we be allowed to live with dignity, and if we have sent our diplomat there, she must be allowed to live with dignity,” he said.
“We have an exceptionally valuable relationship, and I do believe that they have similar sentiments about us. If some small, but irksome, hurtful incident happened, do I not have an expectation from my strategic partner to give a response?” said Khurshid.
“The relationship between India and the U.S is very strong and I do not think people of either country, would want it to become unstable because of a small issue,” he added.
He said there are people who are pontificating that this was the time for war.
“If U.S feels that we must be allowed to sit and talk about it before making a decision, we will. There is no reason why a conversation of high quality should get interrupted, though, it might get interrupted due to some people who sit and pontificate that this is time for war, but we do not want that,” he said.
“There is no right answer for the situation we are in now. Given the circumstances, there can only be a best answer,” he added.
A 1999 batch IFS officer, Khobragade, India’s Deputy Consul General in New York, was arrested on December 12 by the State Department’s diplomatic security bureau, and then handed over to the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).
Khobragade was taken into custody as she was dropping her daughter to school before being released on a USD 250,000 bond after pleading not guilty in court.