Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Obama steps in for 1st time, demands release of Davis

Washington: Upping the ante in a tense stand-off with Pakistan, US President Barack Obama has insisted that the jailed American diplomat Raymond Davis must be freed by Islamabad adhering to the Vienna Convention. 
In the highest level intervention on the issue, Obama said, ‘simple principle’ of diplomatic immunity.
Obama conveyed the message to Pakistan at a news conference and his insistence on the release comes as he dispatched influential senator John Kerry as a high-profile envoy to tell Pakistan that it has much to lose if the controversy drags on.
“With respect to Mr Davis, our diplomat in Pakistan, we’ve got a very simple principle here that every country in the world that is party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations has upheld in the past and should uphold in the future,” Obama said.
“If our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country’s local prosecution. We respect it with respect to diplomats who are here. We expect Pakistan, that’s a signatory should recognize Mr Davis as a diplomat, to abide by the same convention,” Obama said in response to a question.
Obama, however, refrained from giving details of administration’s specific conversation with the Pakistani government but said he was very firm about the release of the diplomat.
 Davis was arrested in Lahore on January 27 after he shot down two Pakistani men in Lahore. AGENCIES

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