No change in policy for visa to Modi: US
New Delhi: At a time when Narendra Modi’s selection as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is being taken as a foregone conclusion, the United States on Tuesday said that its policy on the Gujarat Chief Minister remains unchanged.
US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake was quoted as saying, “There is no question of changing or revising or softening. We may revise (the decision of visa to Modi) depending on Indian justice system completing cases against him only."
The US official said that a judicial exoneration would be one factor in reconsidering policy on visa to Modi.
Blake further said that anyone could apply for a visa to the US, but the decision to grant it would depend on many factors.
After the European Union decided to end its decade-old boycott of the Gujarat Chief Minister, it was speculated that the US administration will follow the suit and lift the travel restrictions imposed on him.
Modi recently met the leaders of the European Union and reportedly told them that the 2002 riots in Gujarat were unfortunate.
Modi took the unusual step of driving to Germany Embassy to a luncheon meeting with envoys and representatives of several European Union member countries that was hosted by German Ambassador Michael Steiner.
The meeting remained undisclosed for one month till EU Ambassador Joao Cravinho went public a week ago.
Modi is also understood to have said that everything should be done to avoid such events.
Asked if the EU, which has boycotted Modi for over 10 years after the riots, was softening up, Cravinho said, "The accountability of what happened in 2002, I think is the matter that is of interest to Indians and is of interest for people around the world."
He said that in India, there is a certain amount of emotion attached to what happened in 2002.
"And it is a matter that we will follow with great interest...," he said.
Last October, Britain, a member of the EU, had ended its decade-long boycott of Gujarat when its High Commissioner to India James Bevan met Modi to mark a "cordial beginning" to fresh ties, with the two discussing opportunities for greater economic cooperation.