Modi-Powell meet: Govt. won't interfere unless diplomats cross red lines, says Khurshid
Commenting on the upcoming meeting between the Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday that there are some red lines beyond which the diplomats from other countries are not allowed to go.
"It is the decision of the diplomatic representatives of any country that if they wants to get full understanding of the context, situation and the possibilities in our country -politically, economically and diplomatically, and for that purpose wants to reach out to individuals, parties, organisation, persons. It is their decision. We cannot comment on it," Khurshid said.
"As far as we are concerned there are some red lines that are based on reciprocity between the countries, beyond which the diplomats should not go. Beyond those red lines, they will not be allowed to go. Short of those red lines, we don't interfere. So as long it is within the area of operation and rest on the basis of reciprocity which we would expect to have in U.S.," he added.
Khurshid also said the government has no problem if they want to exercise their own decisions.
"But of course, we would have a view whether it is good or bad. But let them take their own decision," he said.
Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "It is normal for foreign diplomats or ambassadors of different countries to make request to the External Affairs Ministry to facilitate their meetings with constitutionally elected and functionaries of states."
"In this context, quite some time ago, the American Embassy did ask the Ministry of External Affairs on this issue, and we have communicated to them, after proper consultations that they could proceed with this meeting with the Chief Minister of Gujarat, who is a constitutionally elected Chief Minister, and it is normal courtesy that we extend this to all Foreign Heads of Missions if they would like to meet and if it is mutually convenient, we provide that facilitation. And the meeting is fixed for this week," he added.
(Posted on 12-02-2014)