U.S. ambassador to meet Indian opposition candidate Modi in a thaw

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2014 10:56 PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - U.S. ambassador to India Nancy Powell will meet India's opposition leader Narendra Modi, the embassy said on Tuesday, underlining a shift in stance since the Hindu nationalist leader was denied a visa because of religious riots.

"We can confirm the appointment. This is part of our concentrated outreach to senior political and business leaders which began in November to highlight the U.S.-India relationship," an embassy spokesman said.

Modi, named last year as the prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party, is leading the race for elections due by May.

Modi is accused by critics of not doing enough to stop riots in 2002 in which at least 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, were killed in the western state of Gujarat that he governs. He has denied the accusations and a Supreme Court panel has cleared him of any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Kim Coghill)