With Narendra Modi's 9-year boycott by the US set to end this week, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Tuesdayt said government has "no issues" over it and that he hopes it will help BJP's PM contender secure a visa to visit that country "one day".
"What difference does it (the proposed meeting between Modi and US Ambassador Nancy Powell) make? I hope one day he gets the visa to travel (to the US)," Sharma told reporters here.
"Ambassadors have a right to meet anyone. We are an open democracy. We have no issues," he added. Ambassador Powell is likely to meet Modi in Gujarat capital Gandhinagar on Thursday, marking an end to the boycott of the the BJP leader in the aftermath of post-Godhra communal riots in 2002. The US had cancelled Modi's visa in 2005 under its domestic law over "serious violations of religious freedom".
Powell is likely to discuss with BJP's prime ministerial nominee issues related to the Lok Sabha elections and his vision for the country. In an apparent softening of the US's stiff stance on Modi, it was Powell who sought a meeting with the Gujarat leader. The Ambassador's request for a meeting was accepted by Modi and the two are likely to meet on Thursday.