US ambassador meets India's opposition leader

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Associated Press

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 10:03 AM

NEW DELHI (AP) — The U.S. ambassador has met with India's top Hindu nationalist politician in an effort to reach out to all parties before India's national elections.

The meeting between Ambassador Nancy Powell and prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi marked the first such interaction since Modi was refused a U.S. visa over alleged complicity in deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002.

Relations between the U.S. and India have been strained recently by trade disputes as well as the December arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat in New York.

The embassy said Powell and Modi focused their meeting in Gandhinagar, the capital of Modi's home state of Gujarat, on regional security issues, human rights and trade. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is threatening to unseat the scandal-plagued Congress Party.

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