UK decides to engage with Gujarat; Narendra Modi welcomes move
London: Ending a 10-year boycott of Narendra Modi imposed after the 2002 riots, the UK on Thursday said it has decided to resume engagement with Gujarat, prompting the Chief Minister to welcome the move as "better late than never".
The British government has asked its envoy to India, James Bevan, to visit Gujarat and meet Modi and other senior figures in the state to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest, explore opportunities for closer cooperation and secure "justice for the families of the British nationals killed in 2002”.
"Der Aaye Durasta Aaye (Better late than never)!! I welcome UK Govt`s step for active engagement & strengthening relations with Gujarat. God is Great," Modi tweeted, reacting to Britain`s Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire`s statement.
Earlier in a statement here, Swire said he has asked the British High Commissioner in New Delhi to visit Gujarat.
"This will allow us to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest and to explore opportunities for closer cooperation, in line with the British Government`s stated objective of improving" bilateral ties with India, he said.
"The UK has a broad range of interests in Gujarat. We want to secure justice for the families of the British nationals who were killed in 2002. We want to support human rights and good governance in the state.”
"We also want to provide the best possible support to British nationals who live in, work in or visit Gujarat; and to the many Gujaratis who now make up one of the most successful and dynamic communities in the UK," he said.
As part of its commitment to strengthen ties with India, the UK has an interest "in ensuring that we provide a full and consistent range of services across the whole country”.
"I feel that active engagement will help further these interests. We will consider in the light of the High Commissioner`s visit how best to take forward our relationship with Gujarat," Swire said.
Post-Godhra riots, the UK took a policy decision not to have active engagement with Gujarat. Modi, since 2003, has not visited Britain.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Kejriwal knew Tomar possessed fake degree, says Yogendra Yadav
- Ajinkya Rahane to captain India on Zimbabwe tour; Dhoni, Kohli rested
- Shiv Sena slams HC order banning erection of pandals on roads
- Top leader of NSCN(K) arrested for Manipur attacks by NIA
- Vijender Singh turns professional boxer, to miss 2016 Rio Olympics
- India vs Zimbabwe: Ajinkya Rahane to lead; MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli rested
- Tihar Jail's security breached: Lt Governor Najeeb Jung orders probe, Centre seeks report
- Chinese military research academy praises India's main battle tank Arjun, says it's 'very good'
- Gangster Abu Salem ready to tie the knot with girl seeking to marry him
- Vijender Singh brings down curtains on India career, turns professional