White House defers questions on India diplomatic row to State Department

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 9, 2014 

The White House declined Thursday to wade into the increasingly contentious row over the arrest last fall of an Indian diplomat in New York.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama was being kept updated on the issue, but that he hadn't spoken with him about it.

"The president is obviously a consumer of the news as well as recipient of many briefings," Carney said. "So I can say with great confidence that he is following these developments, but I don't have position or view to express from the presidential level on those developments."

His remarks came as a federal grand jury in New York indicted Devyani Khobragade, deputy consul at India's consulate in New York, on charges of visa fraud and making false statements, the Washington Post reported. Her arrest has prompted outrage in India, which has sought to retailate by, among other actions, removing security barricades at the U.S. Embassy.

Carney referred reporters to remarks by the State Department, which said Thursday it was working "through diplomatic channels" to address the rift.


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