New Delhi: The Centre never encouraged “diplomatic isolation” of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the 2002 riots and it did not have any reservation against any country forging diplomatic ties with the state, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said today.
“We did not encourage any diplomatic isolation. We did not encourage sovereign countries to take a particular position on Mr Modi. They did take that position and we know that position. If they take another position, we will know that as well,” Khurshid said.
He was reacting to Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin’s remarks welcoming Modi’s victory in the state elections.
He, however, was also quick to mention that a section in the US does not want to have friendship with the Gujarat government.
The Centre should not be criticised if certain countries do not want diplomatic ties with Gujarat and, at the same time, question should not be asked if a country forges ties with it, he said, adding, “We may disagree with some of his policies and indeed some of the attitudes that he exhibits”.
In October, Britain ended a 10-year boycott of Modi imposed after the 2002 riots and decided to resume engagement with Gujarat.
“He has an elected office… To have political difference with him and to join the campaign against him on issues that we believe are of far-reaching nature is completely different from his being the Chief Minister of the state and I hope that he makes the same distinction himself,” he said.
Noting that the Centre welcomes “good relationship” with all wings of government, Khurshid said still a section in the US does not want to have friendship with the Gujarat government.
“Still a section of American people think there should not be friendship with the Gujarat Government. If there is different thinking in Russia and the UK, then we do not have any problem. We take note when they did not want ties and we will take note when they make relationship,” he said.
Earlier this month, in a public appeal to the Obama administration, a group of powerful US lawmakers asked it not to change the “good policy” of denying visa to Modi under any circumstances in view of serious allegations of “crime against humanity” against him.