Washington: The US has said that it will consider granting visa to Narendra Modi if the Gujarat Chief Minister applies for it.
"Our policy on this has not changed. If Chief Minister Modi applies for a visa, his application will be considered to determine whether he qualifies for a visa in accordance with U.S. immigration law and policy," said US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki in her daily press briefing here on Wednesday.
"But as you know, we don’t talk about the specifics of that process or individual cases. But he would, of course, be considered if he were to apply," she said.
When asked whether the US will relax its stand on the issue if Modi becomes the Prime Minister of India after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, she said: "Well, that’s a lot of speculation down the road. We always encourage democratic elections and we don’t take sides, and we’ll be watching it closely. I think I just said that we will consider his application if he applies. And we’re not going to get ahead of where we are at this time."
The US had first denied Modi a visa in 2005 over allegations that his government did nothing to stop the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Modi has also not applied for a US visa since the denial.