Modi welcomes UK decision to normalise relations

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 11, 2012 14:10 hrs

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday welcomed the British government's decision to take steps to normalise relationship with the Indian state.

"Der Aaye Durasta Aaye!! I welcome UK Govt´s step for active engagement & strengthening relations with Guj. God is Great," Modi tweeted.

"Getting many messages of pride & joy from Indian diaspora, especially Gujaratis in London & all over the world. Thanks for your affection!" he said.

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire has asked the British High Commissioner in New Delhi to visit the Indian state and meet Modi and other senior officials in the state in order to discuss wide range of issues of mutual interest.

"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," Swire said in a press release.

"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 said.

"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," he said.

According to reports, protests occurred in UK during Modi´s visit to the country in 2003 due to his alleged role in the 2002 riots in the state.

He was denied a visa to visit UK in 2005.

The infamous Gujarat riots of 2002 left hundreds of Muslims dead, injured and tortured and came as a blot in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rule in the state.

The riots followed an incident of train burning in Godhra in which Hindus returning from Ayodhya were killed by a Muslim mob.

Around 1,000 supporters of prime accused Maulvi Umarjihad attacked the coach at the Godhra station and torched it killing 59 people and injuring many.

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