Diplomat issue: PM upset; directs full resolution of issue

Diplomat issue: PM upset; directs full resolution of issue

Diplomat issue: PM upset; directs full resolution of issue

Upset over the treatment meted out to Deputy Consul General Devyani Khobragade in New York, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon to ensure "full resolution" of the issue.

Singh, who has been monitoring the developments related to the diplomat, was briefed by Menon on his telephonic talk with US Secretary of State John Kerry last night, sources said.

Kerry, who called up Menon, expressed regret over the arrest and strip-search of Khobragade in New York last week and said "this unfortunate public issue" should not hurt the "close and vital relationship" with India.

Khurshid also briefed Singh yesterday on the issue, the sources said. The Prime Minister, who has been upset over the treatment meted out to Khobragade, has directed all concerned in the government to ensure "full resolution" of the issue, implying that the diplomat should be freed and the case against her withdrawn.

Singh had yesterday termed as "deplorable" the treatment that the 39-year-old diplomat had been subjected to.

The government had asserted in Parliament earlier that it will take strong steps to ensure the return of the diplomat and ensure restoration of her dignity.

When asked about the lack of response from the US on the diplomat issue, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, "I have been sitting here. How can you say that they are not responding. We will have a chat. We are in conversation."

"What we had to do, we have done. Let us hope that the conversation takes us somewhere," he said at a function in remembrance of the December 16 gang-rape victim.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the government was "fully sensitive" to the way political parties and the nation have expressed their outrage and indignation over the issue.

Asked whether any further steps should be taken by India in this regard, he said "we should wait. The External Affairs Ministry has to take a call. If more positive steps need to be taken will be taken."

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