The US hopes the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) alleged surveillance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was objected to by New Delhi after its revelation, would not impact bilateral ties between the two countries.

“We certainly hope not," state department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday at her daily news conference when asked about the strong protest lodged by India against the NSA’s alleged spying on the BJP.

The BJP figured in the list of foreign political parties for which the NSA had sought permission to carry out surveillance, along with Lebanon’s Amal, the Bolivarian Continental Coordinator of Venezuela, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian National Salvation Front and the Pakistan Peoples Party , said a document made public by The Washington Post early this week.

“We look forward to continuing discussion on a full range of bilateral and regional issues. There has been an invitation issued for a visit, and we are looking forward to that, hopefully in the fall," Psaki said in reference to the possible September visit to the US by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Psaki said American diplomats met Indian officials in this regard.

“I can confirm that diplomats from our embassy have met with their MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) counterparts on this issue, but I am not going to get into the substance of our private conversations," she said.

Without directly mentioning India, the state department spokesperson said the US is talking with the Indian government to increase confidence between the two countries on this issue.

Since 17 January, US President Barack Obama has made clear that his national security team as well the intelligence community are to work with their foreign counterparts in ways that will rebuild trust moving forward, Psaki said.

She refrained from confirming whether the BJP has been taken off the list of global political organizations that is being spied upon by the NSA or whether the US has assured the Narendra Modi government that it would not be done in the future.

“I am just not going to have any more details I can lay out for you, other than to convey that we have a deep and broad partnership with India. We will discuss any concerns that we need to discuss through our private diplomatic channels", Psaki said. “And obviously, that is already ongoing, including as it relates to these specific reports," she added.

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