India summons US envoy over Kejriwal

NEW DELHI: Summoning United States Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Gloria Berbena on Wednesday morning in the Capital to lodge a strong protest, India on Wednesday issued a statement “taking strong objection” to the remarks earlier on Tuesday by the US State Department Spokesperson on the recent arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

New Delhi said countries “are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs” of other nations and that “this responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies”, adding that “casting aspersions (on India’s legal processes) is unwarranted”.

While it was confirmed that the MEA had summoned the senior US diplomat, interestingly, there was no reference to the summoning in the MEA statement in sharp contrast to the one last week when it clearly mentioned that the German DCM had been summoned following remarks on Kejriwal’s arrest by the German Foreign Office Spokesperson.

In its statement, the MEA said, “We take strong objection to the remarks of the Spokesperson of the US State Department about certain legal proceedings in India.”

“In diplomacy, states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others. This responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies. It could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents. India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. Casting aspersions on that is unwarranted,” the MEA statement read.

Earlier on Tuesday, the United States became the second foreign and Western nation after Germany to react to the arrest of Kejriwal last week, with Washington pressing for a “fair, transparent, and timely legal process” in the probe. News agency Reuters was informed by the US State Department Spokesperson in an email response to a query, “We (the United States) encourage a fair, transparent, and timely legal process for Kejriwal.”

This is also the second time in less than two weeks that India has criticised the United States for its utterances on developments in the country.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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