McCain canceled a news conference due to be held outside India's
foreign ministry after India summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to the
ministry over the spying report.
U.S. and Indian officials gave differing explanations for the
cancellation, but said it was not linked to the row.
India sought an assurance that any such surveillance would not
"We expect a response to be provided to us, and if these (reports)
are true, an assurance that this will not happen in the future," a
senior Indian official told Reuters.
Indo-U.S. relations have been delicate for months, following a major
spat over the treatment of an Indian diplomat who was arrested in
New York in December, an incident that was widely blamed for the
resignation of the U.S. ambassador to New Delhi.
The Obama government has sought to revive ties since Modi's election
in May, with an eye to ramping up bilateral trade and defense deals
Modi was for years denied a visa for travel to the United States
following religious riots while he was a state chief minister. He
has responded positively to the U.S. advances and shown no
McCain, whose Arizona constituency is host to some of Boeing <BA.N>
and Raytheon's <RTN.N> most important defense businesses, told the
Senate last week that Washington should seek to help India's
economic and military development.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is also expected to visit India
The United States does not currently have an ambassador in New Delhi
and its most senior diplomat is the charge d'affaires.
Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was among a handful of political
organizations a U.S. court allowed the intelligence agency to spy
on, according to a 2010 classified document leaked by former
security contractor Edward Snowden and published by the Washington
[to top of second column]
The other organizations included Lebanon's Hezbollah-allied group
Amal, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, and the Pakistan Peoples Party,
the leaked legal certification approved by U.S. Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court showed.
The BJP, a Hindu nationalist party that had been in opposition for a
decade, swept to power in May under Modi with the first outright
parliamentary majority in 30 years. Modi has not publicly commented
on the snooping allegation.
BJP leaders offered cautious remarks that the government would take
India's foreign ministry said that if the snooping reports were
true, it was "extremely disconcerting" and "unacceptable" that
Indian privacy laws were being undermined.
The ministry had voiced concerns a year ago about allegations that
U.S. agencies spied on the Indian embassy in Washington, but critics
say the issue has largely been brushed under the carpet.
(Additional reporting and writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by
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