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India cancels ID cards of US consular staff

Wednesday, 25 December 2013 - 8:28am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

The standoff between India and the US following diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest continued on Tuesday with India withdrawing all identity cards provided to US consular officials.

“India has decided to take firm reciprocal steps following the end of the deadline for surrender of identity cards provided to US consular staff in India. All identity cards provided to US consular officials now stand withdrawn,” sources said.

The new cards which are being issued are exact replicas of cards provided to Indian consulate officials in the US. These cards will be given only to consular officials and not to their family members as was the practice earlier. In the US, family members of Indian consulate officials are not provided with these cards.

Henceforth, the US consular staff will be permitted to import their requirements such as alcohol only in the first six months after assuming office as provided in the Vienna Convention for Consular Relations. Previously, they could do so over a three-year period.

The US has been asked to provide visa and salary details of their staff in US schools in India.

Salary details of Indians employed there have also been sought. “India has the data regarding US schools. It is being analysed,” sources said. Meanwhile, New Delhi dismissed concerns regarding the security of US diplomatic officials in India, stating that India takes its Vienna Convention obligations very seriously.

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