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Government failed to take up snooping issue with Kerry: Salman Khurshid

Posted on Aug 08 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid Friday said that the issue of alleged snooping on BJP leaders by US agencies was not adequately taken up when US Secretary of State John Kerry visited India recently.

He said that Kerry's public statement that it is a practice in the US that matters involving the intelligence agencies are not publicy discussed was far from satisfactory.

"We are disappointed that even though (External affairs Minister) Sushma Swaraj raised the issue with Kerry, he did not give any concrete answer. He neither said yes or no to whether US indeed spied on BJP leaders. When Sushma Swaraj could not tell the country whether snooping had taken place or not, I am doubtful what she might have said to Kerry," Khurshid told the media here.

He credited the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government for "remarkable development" in India's relations with the US.

"Our relations with the US is very important and it was nurtured carefully by the UPA. But there are differences and we should use the best diplomacy to put domestic constraints, partly political and partly economical, to rest," Khurshid said.

He added that principle of reciprocity should guide India-US ties and if the NDA government was not following this principle, it was regrettable.

"Indian diplomats were treated very badly by the US and principle of reciprocity required us that courtesy to US diplomats must be curtailed. If this policy has been changed, then the government should explain that to the country," Khurshid said.

He further said that the BJP's championing of FDI is in stark contrast to their opposing the same when UPA decided to introduce it. He said he was doubtful that the intensifying of FDI was being done under US pressure.

"If it is being done due to US pressure, it is bad, and if it is done voluntarily by the government it is even worse," Khurshid said.

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