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Modi was denied visa by previous government: John Kerry

July 31, 2014 21:31 IST

In perhaps the first explanation of the US denial of visa for Narendra Modi, the Obama Administration on Thursday said the decision was taken by the "previous" government.

"It's a very big deal.  Different government, it's a different government now.  Just like it is here. We will welcome Prime Minister Modi.

"He is going to get a welcome. Of course, he will get a visa. No question whatsoever. And we look forward to a terrific meeting with President Obama in September," Secretary of State John Kerry told NDTV.

He was replying to a question whether the refusal of visa (by the Bush administration) was a mistake as the US government has done a complete turn around now.

Kerry said there was no gain in discussing the past. "We are going forward.  I don't spend my time going backward in politics or who made what decision.  What I try to do is solve current issues and Penny (Commerce Secretary) and I are here not to look backward but to look forward."

Modi was denied US visa after the 2002 post-Godhra riots under the provisions of a US law in connection with the killing of a large number of people under his watch as chief minister.

Replying to questions, Kerry said the US would support India becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and also the UN Security Council.

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