British High Commissioner Bevan meets Narendra Modi

Published: Oct 22, 2012, 12:00 IST | Agencies |

British High Commissioner James Bevan today met Chief Minster Narendra Modi in order to normalize relations with Gujarat, ending a 10-year boycott from the United Kingdom.

Bevan met Modi in Ahmedabad on Monday, the first time such an overture is being made since the 2002 riots.

This meeting will mark the resumption of diplomatic dialogue after the 2002 communal riots in which three Gujarat-origin British nationals were killed.

Earlier, British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire had said that he has asked his country's High Commissioner to India to call on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other senior figures of that state.

Swire, who is the British Minister for matters related to India, said: "I have asked the British High Commissioner in New Delhi to visit Gujarat and to meet the Chief Minister and other senior figures in the state. This will allow us to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest and to explore opportunities for closer cooperation, in line with the British government's stated objective of improving bilateral relations with India."

"The UK has a broad range of interests in Gujarat. We want to secure justice for the families of the British nationals who were killed in 2002. We want to support human rights and good governance in the state," he added.

"We also want to provide the best possible support for British nationals who live in, work in or visit Gujarat; and to the many Gujaratis who now make up one of the most successful and dynamic communities in the UK. As part of this government's commitment to strengthen relations with India, we have an interest in ensuring that we provide a full and consistent range of services across the whole country," Swire said.

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