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In damage control mode, US seeks return to business as usual

Washington: In damage control mode, the US has sought to distance itself from anti-India comments attributed to a US diplomat expelled from New Delhi in retaliation of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade's expulsion."Those comments absolutely do
IANS January 14, 2014 14:45 IST
IANS
Washington: In damage control mode, the US has sought to distance itself from anti-India comments attributed to a US diplomat expelled from New Delhi in retaliation of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade's expulsion.

"Those comments absolutely do not reflect US Government policy, nor were they made on any official US Government social media account," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters Monday in response to a question.

"Again, I would underscore that these do not in any way represent the US Government position," she said referring to media reports about comments attributed to Wayne May, who headed the US embassy's security team in New Delhi.

Harf, however, declined to confirm "due to privacy considerations" whether it was indeed May who had been asked to leave by India after the US sought the withdrawal of Khobragade from the US following India's refusal to waive her immunity to face visa fraud charges.

Wayne May and his wife Alicia Muller May, who worked as the US embassy's community liaison officer, both made snide remarks in social media about "holy cows" blocking roads,"No eating the sacred cows" and vaious Indian local customs.

The spokesperson also hoped that Khobragade's return would bring "closure" to the "challenging times" in India-US relations and the two sides would take "significant steps" to put their relations back on track.

"Clearly this has been a challenging time in the US-India relationship. We expect that this time will come to a closure, though," Harf said.