Kerry expresses regret over arrest, strip search of Indian diplomat

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry has called a top Indian official to express his regret over the arrest and strip search of an Indian diplomat in New York City.

State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf says Kerry on Wednesday called India’s National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon (Shihv-SHUHN’-kahr), who has slammed the diplomat’s treatment as, in his words, “despicable and barbaric.”

Devyani Khobragade (dayv-YAHN’-ee KOH’-bruh-gah-day), India’s deputy consul general in New York, is accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her Manhattan housekeeper.

Harf says Kerry believes it’s important for foreign diplomats serving in the United States to be treated with respect.

She says Kerry expressed his regret and said he hoped the incident would not damage the close relationship the U.S. has with India.