US continues to remain in ‘close touch’ with India: State Department on protests at Indian diplomatic facilities
31 March, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
The US has taken the safety and security of diplomatic missions in our country "quite seriously," according to US Department of State Senior Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel on Thursday.
The US has taken the safety and security of diplomatic missions in our country “quite seriously,” according to US Department of State Senior Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel on Thursday.
In a news conference, Vedant Patel stated that the US remains in regular contact with India on a variety of subjects.
“We take the safety and security of the diplomatic missions that we host in the United States and the diplomats that work in them quite seriously,” Patel said while responding to a question on ‘whether the US government or the Indian government was in touch with State Department over the incidents that took place outside the consulate in San Francisco last week.
He also said, “We are in close touch with our Indian partners on a number of issues, but including on this we made sure to remain in close touch with them as well as the appropriate local entities, depending on where these various missions and consulates were located.”
Vedant Patel’s statement comes after pro-Khalistan protesters in the United States threatened the Indian embassy and Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu last week. Protests by Khalistan supporters have occurred several times outside the Indian embassy and the San Francisco Consulate.
The Indian Embassy in San Francisco was also stormed last week. Recently, a video of pro-Khalistani protestors gathered at the consulate in San Francisco, shouting chants in support of Amritpal Singh and heckling workers as they left the diplomatic post surfaced on social media.
When asked about the time when the new US ambassador to India Eric Garcetti will take charge, Vedant Patel said, “We were quite happy to see Ambassador Garcetti be confirmed. I don’t have any specific date or timeline to share other than I know he’s eager to get to New Delhi and present his credentials very soon. And I’m sure that will happen as soon as it can.”
Last week, former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was sworn in by US Vice President Kamala Harris as the new US Ambassador to India.
During the oath-taking ceremony, Garcetti said: “I Eric M. Garcetti, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter.”
Harris went on to congratulate Garcetti on his new position. On March 15 (Local Time), the Senate confirmed Eric Garcetti, the former mayor of Los Angeles, to be the United States’ ambassador to India.
Garcetti was elected by a vote of 52 to 42, a big victory for US President Joe Biden, who stood by his political partner despite the allegations and the lengthy process that has left the world’s most populous democracies without US representatives.