Despite differing stands on diplomatic privileges and immunities after the Devyani Khobragade episode, the U.S. and India do not see their strategic ties as a ‘single issue’ relationship, Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid said on Wednesday.
“Both countries have agreed to initiate a dialogue to comprehensively address all aspects related to diplomatic immunities and privileges in a mutually acceptable manner, so as to avoid recurrence of such instances. Discussions will be held as soon as a mutually agreed agenda and convenient dates for the meeting are finalised,” the Minister said in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.
“At the same time both sides have agreed to continue to implement other programmes of bilateral cooperation,” Mr. Khurshid added.
While remaining open to dialogue, Mr. Khurshid said the Centre would continue to monitor the American Embassy School’s functioning in the light of media reports of tax and visa violations.
“The government has sought information from the school to examine compliance with relevant Indian laws by the school and its employees and it will take necessary action accordingly in this matter,’’ he said.
India believes that the manner in which Ms. Khobragade was arrested contravened the privileges and immunities provided to diplomats under the Vienna Convention. This aspect has been raised with the U.S. government, which claims that the Vienna Convention was not violated from its perspective, arguing that “standard procedures” were followed.