German envoy meets Narendra Modi

Last Updated: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 23:48

Ahmedabad: German ambassador to India Michael Steiner on Saturday met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to discuss strengthening of ties between his country and the state.

Steiner met Modi in Gandhinagar and both of them discussed a wide range of issues, including strengthening of relations between Gujarat and Germany, an official release said.

Steiner had yesterday said that ending of Modi`s boycott should not be seen as endorsing any politician, but rather as giving respect to India`s democracy and those who are elected by its people.

"This has nothing to do with an endorsement. I am a representative of a foreign country, like my European colleagues, we have to respect that India is a democracy with functioning institutions, and we have to stay neutral, that is what we are doing," Steiner had said when asked if his three-day visit to Gujarat was an endorsement of Modi.

In reply to a question on whether Germany will give visa to Modi if he is elected to the post of prime minister, the ambassador had said, "Let`s not discuss hypothetical things, but let`s discuss principled positions, our positions--the position of my country as well as partners in European Union-- is a position of respect for India.

"Respect for the institutions, for those who are elected, for those who are office-holders...And of course we will respect any results the Indian voter will deliver early next year. If we do not do this, we would not honour our words --India is the biggest democracy of the world with functioning institutions," Steiner had said.
EU countries ended the boycott of Modi after Germany and other European Union countries hosted a lunch for him in New Delhi, when he won the elections in Gujarat last December for the third time.
EU countries had imposed a diplomatic boycott on Modi`s government after the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 23:48

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