US Ambassador meets Narendra Modi, signals end of boycott, but no word on visa

Powell is the highest-ranking US official to meet Modi since Washington denied him a diplomatic visa in 2005 post 2002 communal riots.

Ahmedabad | Updated: February 14, 2014 9:17 am
pm-med Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi shake hands with US ambassador to India Nancy Powell during a meeting in Gandhinagar, on Thursday. (PTI)

 

US Ambassador Nancy Powell met Gujarat Chief Minister and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Thursday and discussed a range of subjects, signalling the end of a nine-year boycott of Modi by Washington following the 2002 riots.

During their one-hour meeting in Gandhinagar, the two touched upon the alleged ill-treatment of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade and bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice, among others. But the US visa ban on Modi was not discussed, officials said.

The meeting was significant not because of what the two talked about but because of just the fact it took place.

Powell is the highest-ranking US official to meet Modi since Washington denied him a diplomatic visa in 2005 and revoked his personal visa following the communal riots.

Powell, accompanied by the US Consul General in Mumbai, Peter Haas, met Modi and top Gujarat government officials at his official residence in Gandhinagar.

A Gujarat government statement said Modi expressed concern over “the recent ill-treatment of an Indian lady diplomat in New York” to which Powell reassured that the “US government was fully committed to resolving this issue at the earliest possible”.

Modi told Powell that “such irritants should not be allowed to happen” to strengthen the India-US strategic partnership and help it realise its full potential. Modi also reiterated the BJP’s commitment to further the US-India strategic partnership initiated when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister.

Modi also discussed Gujarat’s involvement in training Afghan officials as well as rural Afghan women for self-employment and suggested replicating Gujarat’s dairy industry to push its rural economy.

The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), which Powell visited, has been training Afghan women to rehabilitate themselves.

Referring to 26/11, Modi said there was a need for a “single global yardstick on terrorism” and the need to “isolate terrorist groups irrespective of their base or victims”.

A US consulate statement described the meeting as “part of the US mission’s outreach to senior leaders of India’s major political parties in advance of the upcoming national elections”.

Powell also met opposition leader Shankersinh Vaghela, Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia and Congress leader Siddharth Patel.

“She had questions on the human rights situation in Gujarat and also wanted to know the probable scenario in the event of a BJP-led NDA government or a Congress-led UPA government in the upcoming elections,” Vaghela said after the meeting.

Vaghela said he told her about the fake encounter cases and how Gujarat police officers were jailed for them. “We told them how Gujarat is lagging behind in terms of the human rights index, health and other parameters,” he said.

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  1. D
    Different View
    Feb 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm
    The US considers India a stratigic partner. Based on the early poll, there is a great chance that Modi will become the next Prime Minister of India. In that situation, the US doesn't want the relationship with India changed. So if they have to deal with Modi, they will deal with him. This is pro-activeness on their part. But don't consider it as anyone's defeat or anyone's success.
    Reply
    1. D
      Different View
      Feb 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm
      The US considers India a stratigic partner. Based on the early poll, there is a great chance that Modi will become the next Prime Minister of India. In that situation, the US doesn't want the relationship with India changed. So if they have to deal with Modi, they will deal with him. This is pro-activeness on their part. But don't consider it as anyone's defeat or anyone's success.
      Reply
      1. W
        Whatever
        Feb 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm
        According to daily telegraph modi denied meeting two time before he agreed for he third time with his choice of venue. If i recall correctly MMS or Khurshid had been begging for meeting with their counter parts and they were denied
        Reply
        1. W
          Whatever
          Feb 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm
          According to daily telegraph modi denied meeting two time before he agreed for he third time with his choice of venue. If i recall correctly MMS or Khurshid had been begging for meeting with their counter parts and they were denied
          Reply
          1. A
            Atul Sharma
            Feb 13, 2014 at 8:10 am
            Thats goog for us indeed. Lets move ahead to build a strong & better India. Atul Sharma (Middle East)
            Reply
            1. A
              Atul Sharma
              Feb 13, 2014 at 8:10 am
              Thats goog for us indeed. Lets move ahead to build a strong & better India. Atul Sharma (Middle East)
              Reply
              1. B
                BOMBAY_CITIZEN
                Feb 13, 2014 at 6:26 am
                WHY IS USA BOTHERED WITH THIS OLD UNEDUCATED CHAIWALLA ?
                Reply
                1. A
                  Amit Sood
                  Feb 13, 2014 at 6:04 am
                  Have they finally bowed to the rising sun... ?
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Swami Gnani
                    Feb 13, 2014 at 1:41 pm
                    Our politicians are such traitors that they discuss internal cases like fake encounters with a visiting dignitary. After all, keep in mind, Modi is an Indian citizen. Any ill treatment an elected official by any country is a humiliation to all citizens. Why didn't the liberals cry fowl when the Sikh riots happened? What about the innocent Hindus who were burnt alive? What about the ethnic cleansing of Pandits in Kashmir? What about 67 sitting MPs writing to the US congress against their own citizen, whatever may have been the alleged violations. This is how East India Co. became the British empire....folks watch out for a complete take over if not now but in the near future.
                    Reply
                    1. G
                      Gagan
                      Feb 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm
                      Who cares for visa?
                      Reply
                      1. G
                        Gagan
                        Feb 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm
                        Who cares for visa?
                        Reply
                        1. P
                          Pitambar Sharma
                          Feb 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm
                          It was immature if not stupid of the US to have tried this stunt. The probable reason is the pressure from the Christian right that wants to convert Hindus in India and sees Modi as an obstacle. Any way, the US has tried to get out of the fix and Modi has gracefully allowed them. In similar situation, I would not have agreed to meet the Americans until they apologized as they readily would have if the Chinese had flexed their muscles.
                          Reply
                          1. P
                            Pitambar Sharma
                            Feb 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm
                            It was immature if not stupid of the US to have tried this stunt. The probable reason is the pressure from the Christian right that wants to convert Hindus in India and sees Modi as an obstacle. Any way, the US has tried to get out of the fix and Modi has gracefully allowed them. In similar situation, I would not have agreed to meet the Americans until they apologized as they readily would have if the Chinese had flexed their muscles.
                            Reply
                            1. I
                              INDIANS
                              Feb 14, 2014 at 9:14 am
                              :indiansvictoryparty...
                              Reply
                              1. G
                                G G
                                Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 am
                                because there are "educated" perverts like you.
                                Reply
                                1. G
                                  G G
                                  Feb 13, 2014 at 11:01 am
                                  because there are "educated" perverts like you.
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    Mahi Kumari
                                    Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03 am
                                    God knows how US India relations will fare with BJP and NaMo at helm. In spite of the fact that Modi had been denied visa by the US BJP has been clamoring for Modi's visa left and right. They have almost tried every way. Remember Rajnath Singh had gone to US to talk about it. They are such hypocrites.
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      Mahi Kumari
                                      Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03 am
                                      God knows how US India relations will fare with BJP and NaMo at helm. In spite of the fact that Modi had been denied visa by the US BJP has been clamoring for Modi's visa left and right. They have almost tried every way. Remember Rajnath Singh had gone to US to talk about it. They are such hypocrites.
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        Mahi Kumari
                                        Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03 am
                                        Gujarati community in Europe and USA have purchased that visit for NaMo. You know how election funding works ? Pheku Modi is craving so badly, he is trying his best to present acceptability. At the end of the day he is a Chaiwalla, so he will think like one. Unfortunately India has its fare share of Chaiwallas, we can see on this blog.
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          Mahi Kumari
                                          Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03 am
                                          If only NaMo will make it to the PM's post. The w track of US India relations has been built by Congress, the hard work and diplomacy has been done by Congress and Modi will reap results. Sad.
                                          Reply
                                          1. M
                                            Mahi Kumari
                                            Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03 am
                                            True we do not need US's character approval stamp of NaMo. We ourselves know that Pheku Modi has blood on his hands. Unfortunately the judicial and the police in Gujarat are under the foot of Mr Modi, so Modi will perhaps never be brought to Justice. May Ram show him the way. He is a disgrace to the Hindu community.
                                            Reply
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