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In U-turn, US ambassador to meet India's PM candidate Modi

Published on Feb 11, 2014 11:32 AM
Gujarat's chief minister and Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (C), the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, wearing a "Japi" (a traditional hat of Assam) receives a wooden Rhino by his supporters during a rally ahead of the 2014 general elections, at Guwahati in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam on Feb 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US ambassador to India plans to meet opposition candidate for prime minister Narendra Modi, an official said on Monday, signalling a turnaround after years of shunning him over anti-Muslim riots.

Ambassador Nancy Powell's meeting with the Hindu nationalist leader would put the United States in line with European nations which have already ended a boycott of Modi amid growing indications that he will take the helm of the world's largest democracy later this year.

A State Department official confirmed the appointment between Modi and Powell, without specifying a date.

"This is part of our concentrated outreach to senior political and business leaders which began in November to highlight the US-India relationship," the official said on condition of anonymity.

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