Home / Politics / Policy /  US disputes: India seeks early resolution

New Delhi: India on Wednesday called for the early resolution of a series of disputes with the US, including last year’s arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York that have badly strained ties which both sides describe as a strategic partnership.

The message was conveyed by foreign secretary Sujatha Singh to visiting US assistant secretary of state Nisha Biswal, on her first visit to India after taking over the post late last year. Biswal was to visit New Delhi in January but the diplomatic storm over Khobragade’s arrest over the alleged ill-treatment of her maid caused her to postpone her visit.

“The foreign secretary underlined ... the need for officials on both sides to expeditiously resolve outstanding issues, to enable both sides to focus their energies on the substantive and strategic issues that underpin this vital partnership," said a person close to the developments about talks between Singh and Biswal in New Delhi on Wednesday. “During her official meetings in New Delhi, Biswal held detailed discussions on India-US relations with her counterpart, the joint secretary for the Americas in the m,inistry of external affairs," the person, who did not wish to be named said.

“The two sides discussed the current state of the bilateral relationship, and considered measures to achieve progress in resolving to mutual satisfaction issues that have emerged on either side in recent months. Both sides reaffirmed the priority attached to the India-US strategic partnership, and discussed ways in which existing dialogue mechanisms could be energized to generate fresh momentum over the next few months," the person said adding Biswal’s visit was to be followed next week by that of US energy secretary Ernest J. Moniz for the bilateral energy dialogue.

Biswal began her three-day India visit in India’s information technology (IT) capital Bangalore on Tuesday meeting senior political leaders of Karnataka, US business representatives based there as well as the head of India’s space agency K. Radhakrishnan.

The visit is only the start of what is expected to be a long-drawn process to try and put ties back to normal after turning frosty over several issues, including the India-US nuclear deal, alleged mistreatment of Khobragade, lack of economic reforms in India, and complaints of protectionism by both.

“I would characterize it as a very important visit because the hard work of stabilising the relationship, giving it direction and substance, is done at the level of officials like Biswal," said C.U. Bhaskar, an analyst with the New Delhi-based Society for Policy Studies think-tank.

Warming ties earlier were marked by high-level visits. Between 2000-2010, three US Presidents—Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama— visited India, cementing relations.

Bilateral trade in goods is expected to cross $65 billion in 2013-14, according to the ministry of external affairs.

According to Bhaskar, the chill in ties began with “the general disappointment on both sides coinciding with the second terms of President Obama (who was re-elected in 2012) and the UPA (Congress-led United Progressive Alliance which was re-elected for a second five year term in 2009)".

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Recommended For You

Edit Profile
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout