American lawmaker urges Obama to assure visa to Modi

Washington: An influential American lawmaker today urged President Barack Obama to assure India's prime minister-designate Narendra Modi that he would be granted a US visa, which was revoked by the previous Bush Administration some 10 years ago following the 2002 Gujarat riots.

 American lawmaker urges Obama to assure visa to Modi

US President Barack Obama and BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi

"I congratulate Narendra Modi on being elected as the next Prime Minister of India. This is a historic moment for India, and I will work closely with Prime Minister-elect Modi to strengthen the important relationship between our two countries," said Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

"It is now time to look to the future. I urge the Administration to assure the Prime Minister-elect that he will be granted a visa. I have met with Modi in India, and I look forward to meeting him again in the United States," he said.

In 2005, the US State Department had revoked a visa that Modi had for travelling to the US on the ground of alleged human rights violations after the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Royce is the former chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

Starting with only eight members, Royce helped build the caucus to become one of the largest in the House.

In July 2006, Royce managed legislation on the House floor to pass the historic US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

Powerful Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who is co-chair of the bipartisan Senate India Caucus, in a statement congratulated BJP and Modi on their electoral victory.

"I look forward to working with the new Indian government to move the US-India relationship forward," he said.

"Once the new government is formed, both the US and India should commit to accomplish some specific actions in the first 100 days to demonstrate that we can work together to get things done. I believe opportunities exist in the areas of defense trade, energy, and foreign direct investment, as well as further efforts to advance the bilateral investment treaty," Warner said.

PTI

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Updated Date: May 16, 2014 23:55:17 IST