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Understand India's concerns over NSA snooping: John Kerry

US secretary of state John Kerry met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday and discussed key bilateral issues including NSA snooping, WTO deal and India-US partnership. US hopeful of WTO deal with India hours before deadline

india Updated: Jul 31, 2014 21:00 IST
John Kerry,Sushma Swaraj,President Obama

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told visiting US secretary of state John Kerry on Thursday that US surveillance of an ally was "unacceptable" following allegations that Washington's National Security Agency targeted the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party.

"I raised this issue and even told them that when the news came out in the Indian media, people were angry," Swaraj said at a joint press conference with Kerry.

"I also told them that if we consider each other friendly countries, it is unacceptable that a friendly country spies on other friendly nations."

A classified document made public by the Washington Post earlier this month showed that India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was among authorised targets for the NSA in 2010 while it was in opposition.

In response, Kerry told reporters: "We have a policy in the United States with respect to intelligence matters, we do not discuss intelligence matters."

Here are the highlights of what Kerry said at a joint press conference:

• Fully understand and respect the feeling expressed by India on snooping.

• We are encouraging India to reach a compromise formula on WTO deal.

• India and US are indispensable partners in 21st century.

• There are incredible possibilities in our relationship.

• President Obama has ordered unprecedented review of intelligence gathering, we fully understand concerns and are willing to work with India.

• Moment has never been more right to deliver on our (US-India) relation.

• Recognized that both sides stand at a great turning point.

• PM Narendra Modi has called for a saffron revolution because saffron represents energy.

• US still 'hopeful' about Gaza ceasefire.

• In weeks to come, we will take series of steps to pave the way for PM Narendra Modi's visit to US in September.

Highlights of what Sushma Swaraj said at a joint press conference:

• We raised the issue of snooping and conveyed that such spying was not acceptable.

• There is growing global partnership to the relationship.

• We see great potential in US as our global partner.

(With AFP inputs)

First Published: Jul 31, 2014 20:16 IST