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EU willing to deal with Modi, signals German envoy

Posted on Feb 08, 07:30PM | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 8 : Signalling the European Union's (EU) change of policy towards Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over the 2002 riots in the state, Germany's envoy to India Friday said they trust India's judicial system.

"India is a democracy. We respect the democratic institutions. We respect election results in India and we have full trust in its judicial system. Because of this new respect and trust, we are now in a new phase," German ambassador Michael Steiner said in a statement about Modi's meeting with envoys of European countries.

Modi had met Steiner and other envoys of the EU last month Jan 7 in New Delhi.

Sources said EU ambassadors had resolved to break diplomatic contacts with the Modi government following the 2002 riots.

Modi was re-elected for a third successive term as chief minister December last.

EU ambassador to India Joao Cravinho told a TV news channel that the 2002 riots had figured during their meeting with Modi.

Sources said the meeting was the first that European envoys had with Modi since the riots.

It came after British High Commissioner Sir James Bevan's met Modi in Gandhinagar in October last year, ending a 10-year boycott.

Sources said the meeting has come amid rise in the political stature of Modi within the BJP following his third successive assembly poll victory and talks in party circles that he could emerge as its prime ministerial candidate.

They said that convictions in 2002 riots cases, including that of former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani, had also helped strengthen the impression that the cases were going to their logical conclusion in the state.