Strongly raising the issue of snooping of Indian organisations and individuals by American intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA), External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told US Secretary of State John Kerry it is “unacceptable”. In response, Kerry said the US “fully respects and understands the feelings” expressed.
At a joint press conference, Swaraj said, “I raised this issue with Secretary Kerry… I told him both countries consider each other as friendly nations and it will not be acceptable to us if a friendly country spies on the other.”
In response, Kerry said, “We value our relationship with India…we also value sharing of information regarding counter-terrorism and other threats. We fully respect and understand the feelings expressed by the minister.”
Swaraj said she also raised the issue of the pending US immigration bill, and that while it is the US’s internal matter, it will affect the Indian IT industry and send a negative signal when the Indian economy is opening up. Swaraj was clear that there has been no change in the Indian foreign policy regarding sanctions against Russia.
The joint statement said both sides expressed concern at the escalation of violence in Gaza. On terrorism, both countries pledged cooperation.
Birla said her campaign this time is “very similar” to the last time.