"We work together all the time. We have a number of issues including at times certain problems and we sort them in the spirit of friendship and cooperation," India's Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay said during a repatriation ceremony at the Indian Consulate where US authorities handed over three stolen sculptures to Indian officials.

The ceremony, attended by HSI Executive Associate Director James Dinkins and INTERPOL Washington Director Shawn Bray, came following month-long tensions between US and India over the visa fraud charges that were slapped on Devyani Khobragade, the deputy Counsul General.

When asked if he sees the repatriation ceremony as a sign of thaw between the two countries and an effort in moving beyond the diplomatic row, Mulay said he would like to see more appreciation for the bilateral relationship and its holistic nature.

In his first public comments on the Indian diplomat row, Mulay said the relationship between India and US is ‘multi-dimensional, multi-faceted and an ongoing strong partnership’.
"All partnerships will have their issues and they should be solved in a spirit of friendliness. (There are) synergies and convergence between India and the US, two of the largest democracies in the world (that have) strong foundation of democratic practices," he said.

Mulay stressed that the partnership between the two nations covers a wide gamut of crucial areas like defence, cyber security, science technology, space and nuclear cooperation.
"We work closely. There are issues but we tackle them," he said.

Mulay said the relationship between India and US has been touted as a defining relationship of the 21st century by US President Barack Obama and they have to work on more than one area. On whether the repatriation ceremony was deliberately planned to send a signal of forward movement in bilateral relationships after the diplomatic row, Mulay said the ceremony was planned sometime back.


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