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US Wants to Move India-US Ties Forward After Khobragade Affair

As an Indian diplomat at the centre of a major diplomatic row between India and the US rekindled her case, the US said it is "focus has been on moving our relationship forward."

When asked about the allegations made by Devyani Khobragade, India’s former deputy consul general in New York, State Department spokesperson said on Thursday, "I’m not aware of anything recently or anything through official channels."

Khobragade, whose alleged arrest and strip search last December over charges of visa fraud and underpaying her housekeeper, had strained India-US relations, had in a TV interview hoped that her case will be taken up positively by the new Modi government.

"Obviously, this is a topic that had been discussed, as you know, late last year and early this year," Psaki said. "Our focus has been on moving our relationship forward."

US Secretary of State John Kerry as also US defence Secretary Chuck Hagel were in India this summer and the US hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, she said.

"So our focus here, through diplomatic channels, is on moving the relationship forward," Psaki said.

Khobragade told the TV channel that it is vital her case be taken up as it does not concern her as an individual, but is about an open judicial system for all diplomats.

According to Khobragade, it would have been the temptation of a green card or a visa that could have compelled her maid to complaint against her.

Khobragade was transferred back to New Delhi after getting full diplomatic immunity by working briefly at India’s UN mission even as New York’s Indian-American attorney Preet Bharara declined to withdraw the US case against her.

(With inputs from IANS)

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