India and UAE are ‘in Russia’s camp’, says recalled US cable

Washington, March 03 (KMS): The US State Department has recalled a cable to US diplomats that instructed them to inform counterparts from India and the United Arab Emirates that their position of neutrality on Ukraine put them “in Russia’s camp”.

This was disclosed by the American news website, Axios in its fresh report, which says that the recall of the strongly worded cable indicates a policy dispute inside the US government involving two key allies.

Diplomatic cables are typically circulated through relevant parties at the State Department and vetted by numerous officials before being cleared for distribution to embassies. They are the primary ways of communicating internal policy decisions and instructions from “Main State” to diplomats posted abroad. The cable was blasted to U.S. embassies in the nearly 50 countries represented at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday but recalled Tuesday afternoon.

However, Axios, which viewed portions of the cable, when initially contacted the State Department for comment, the latter tried to play it down by saying, “The language in question was never intended for clearance and the cable was released in error, which is why it was recalled.” “The inquiry was not the reason for the recall,” the spokesperson said. The cable, rated sensitive but unclassified, suggested some frank language for US diplomats to use to try to persuade India and the UAE to change their positions.

“Continuing to call for dialogue, as you have been doing in the Security Council, is not a stance of neutrality; it places you in Russia’s camp, the aggressor in this conflict,” said draft talking points in the cable, a template for conversations with Indian and Emirati diplomats. “We strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to support Ukraine in the HRC [Human Rights Council], an opportunity you failed to seize in the UNSC [United Nations Security Council].”

On Wednesday, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution — with the support of 141 countries — “deploring” Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. India abstained while the UAE voted for it.

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