Khobragade, the 39-year-old Deputy Indian Consul General, was subjected to a humiliating strip search, was swabbed for DNA and was kept in a cell with drug addicts after her arrest in New York last week for alleged visa fraud.

"He (Kerry) was certainly aware, yes, absolutely. He's been kept up to speed on this case," the State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said on Wednesday after informing the media that Kerry spoke over telephone to Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

"He (Kerry) certainly expressed regret about what happened with this case writ large, sort of how this has all played out," she said.

"I think part of it, of course, was focused on the fact that we don't believe that there should be steps taken in Delhi or elsewhere in India by the government to prohibit us from doing our work, to put restrictions on our work, some of the things we've talked about with the demarches,” she added.

"It was really about the whole situation, honestly, and focused on how we move forward," Harf said.

Besides Kerry, the Under Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Windy Sherman spoke with the Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.

There was no explanation given as to why Kerry did not call his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid, the External Affairs Minister.

Harf described this as a "positive" conversation.

"He expressed regret with what happened. As a father of two daughters about the same age, he empathizes with the sensitivity, certainly. I'm not going to further parse what he said in a private conversation, but needless to say, it was a positive conversation and we're focused on moving the relationship forward," she said.

(Agencies)

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