In a diplomatic goof-up, US Ambassador David C Mulford had to return from the defence ministry without his scheduled meeting with Minister A K Antony, as the protocol officer failed to receive him at the gate.
The protocol officer was removed from his job at the defence ministry for the faux pas.
Mulford, who was to have met Antony around 15.30 hours on September 4, waited for 15 minutes to be escorted into the ministry building from VVIP Gate number 11.
However, the protocol officer was missing and the security personnel told the US Embassy officials accompanying the envoy that they had no intimation about the meeting.
The ministry officials said the protocol officer has been transferred back to the Department of Personnel and Training as a punishment.
The protocol department is responsible for receiving dignitaries on behalf of the government and every ministry has its own protocol department for proper reception of guests.
The meeting was scheduled in the wake of Antony's visit to the US from September 5.