US Envoy Powell Meets Modi, Ends 9-year Boycott

During the hour-long meeting, they discussed topics ranging from Afghanistan and development projects to the standoff with the Indian diplomat.

Published: 14th February 2014 08:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2014 08:19 AM   |  A+A-

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Ending a nine-year ‘boycott’, US Ambassador Nancy Powell on Thursday met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at his Gandhinagar office, where the latter raised the Devyani Khobragade issue, while the former expressed interest in learning from the state’s best development projects.

During an hour-long meeting, Modi and Powell apparently discussed a number of issues ranging from Afghanistan and development projects to the month-long standoff with the Indian diplomat.

As expected, rejection of Modi’s visa by the US in 2005 over his alleged involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots was not raised by either side.

In a statement, the US Embassy said the meeting was part of “outreach to senior leaders of India’s major political parties in advance to the upcoming national elections”.

It, however, did not throw much light into the details of the meeting but said Powell would also have other interlocutors in Gujarat - NGOs, and the US and Indian businesses.

“The discussions focused on the importance of the US-India relationship, regional security issues, human rights and American trade and investment in India,” said a press release issued by the embassy. The Chief Minister’s office said Powell was  apparently impressed by the changes and development in the state and appreciated that the US businesses were pleased with the decision making speed as well as clear procedures in place in the state.

“She expressed keenness to take the best practices of governance from Gujarat to be implemented in developing countries. “She was taken up by the Chiranjeevi Yojana, which has improved mother and child health through institutional delivery,” said a statement posted on the Modi’s official website. Modi has reportedly said that the Gujarat model of diary cooperatives could be introduced in Afghanistan for improving rural economy.

Expressing concern over the ill-treatment of diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York, Modi hoped that a permanent solution would be found soon. 

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