US envoy wanted to visit Tawang, not meant to send any message: Arunachal CMhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/arunachal-pradesh-pema-khandu-us-ambassador-to-india-kenneth-juster-tawang-festival-6096056/

US envoy wanted to visit Tawang, not meant to send any message: Arunachal CM

Chief Minister Pema Khandu said he had invited US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster to Arunachal Pradesh after he received a letter from him seeking to visit the state.

Arunachal CM denies political message in US Ambassador's visit to state
US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster along with Union Minister Kiren Rijiju and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu. (Twitter/@USAmbIndia)

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu Thursday said US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster’s visit to the state was not intended to convey any message. Khandu said he had invited the Ambassador after he received a letter from him seeking to visit the state.

“(Juster) said he wanted to attend the Tawang festival. In response, I wrote to him. It is very good… he was chief guest at the festival,” Khandu told a group of visiting journalists in Tawang.

In fact, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju also attended the Tawang festival.

Khandu said Juster wanted to visit Arunachal as it was one of the few states in the country he had never been to.

Khandu told reporters his government and the US are collaborating in projects together in the state. “The Arunachal government and the US are doing some projects together here. In collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, we are running a smart village programme. We have identified around 70 villages for it,” Khandu said.

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Arunachal CM denies political message in US Ambassador's visit to state
US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster was chief guest at the Tawang festival. (Twitter/@USAmbIndia)

“We have unique handcrafts and textiles in our state. Through the programme, artisans are trained and their products are sold in the international market. Soon, the artisans themselves will be able to sell their products globally,” he added.

The annual Tawang festival celebrates Arunachal’s rich cultural heritage. First hosted in 2013, it includes Buddhist religious functions, traditional dances, indigenous sports, films and documentaries, food festivals and more.