HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

US visa not on agenda when Modi meets Powell in Gujarat

Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 11, 2014
First Published: 09:54 IST(11/2/2014) | Last Updated: 13:30 IST(11/2/2014)

The recently confirmed meeting between BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and US ambassador to India Nancy Powell will take place in Gandhinagar with the focus on how to take the bilateral relations forward without any conversation on US visa for Gujarat chief minister.

Top BJP leader told Hindustan Times that ministry of external affairs has already sent aide-memoire to Gujarat chief minister's office as well as Modi's close confidante Arun Jaitley which gives the broad overview of India-US relations at this stage and possible talking points.

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"It was a fortnight ago that US embassy sounded us out on Powell's request for meeting. We have agreed for the meeting to take place later in Gandhinagar as Modi is addressing more than 20 election rallies this month. The topic will be bilateral ties and not Modi's visa," said the leader.

Hindustan Times broke the story of the meeting on Monday night that the US ambassador Nancy Powell last week had asked and received permission from South Block to meet the Gujarat chief minister.

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South Block sources said that mandatory clearance to Powell for the Modi meeting was given on February 7 with the former indicating the meeting date as February 15. However, Modi is addressing a rally in Delhi on that day and moves to Sujanpur in Jammu the next day.

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