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US ends boycott of India's Modi as envoy enters talks

Published on Feb 13, 2014 12:41 PM

GANDHINAGAR, India (AFP) - The United States ended a decade-long boycott on Thursday of Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi over deadly religious riots as a top diplomat held talks with the man tipped to be the country's next prime minister.

Nancy Powell, the US ambassador to India, shook hands with Modi who presented her with a bouquet of roses at his official residence in western Gujarat state where he is chief minister, before entering closed-door talks.

Powell and her entourage later left Modi's residence in the state capital Gandhinagar, after the meeting lasting almost an hour, but she did not speak to waiting reporters.

Modi, leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is accused by rights groups of turning a blind eye to riots that killed up to 2,000 people in Guarajat in 2002. Most of the victims were Muslims.

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