Embassy club ordered to close

Jan

9

2014

NEW DELHI: India yesterday ordered the US to close down an embassy club for expatriate Americans in New Delhi, escalating a diplomatic row between the two nations that has brought faultlines in their ties out in the open.

Furious at the arrest, handcuffing and strip search of its deputy consul in New York last month, India initially reacted by curtailing privileges offered to US diplomats.

The officer, Devyani Khobragade, was accused by prosecutors of underpaying her nanny and lying on a visa application,

Still festering nearly a month on, the row has started to affect the wider relationship between the world’s two largest democracies, with one high-level visit by a senior US official already postponed and a visit scheduled for next week by US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz looking doubtful.

Both sides have said the relationship is important and will not be allowed to deteriorate – Washington needs New Delhi on its side as US troops pull out of Afghanistan and it engages with China. Millions of Indians have made the US their home and bilateral trade is worth about $100 billion a year. But the row is just not going away and has plunged the countries into a crisis described by Indian media as the worst since New Delhi tested a nuclear device in 1998.

Source: GDN

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