In pictures and video: UK envoy James Bevan meets Narendra Modi
Gandhinagar, 22 October 2012
The British High Commissioner to India, James Bevan is in Gujarat today. Bevan reached Gandhinagar to meet Chief Minister Narendra Modi at around 11.00 am. His meeting with the Chief Minister continued for about an hour.
Both leaders discussed the strengthening of relations between Gujarat and United Kingdom. During the interaction, the High Commissioner was presented with a Rogan Painting, a 2000 year old cultural tradition of the Kutch region. The painting was made by Muslim artists from Kutch. Sir Bevan was presented with a shawl and a copy of Shri Modi’s book ‘Convenient Action’ that talks about how Gujarat has been tackling the menace of climate change.
Sir Bevan spoke about Gujarat’s development and strengthening ties between Gujarat and UK in economic, education, social and diplomatic fronts. Considering the large number of members of the Gujarati community in UK, Shri Modi raised the possibility of setting up an office of Deputy High Commissioner in Ahmedabad.
The Chief Minister mentioned that every year large number of students from India including Gujarat go to UK for their higher studies but some of them attend bogus colleges that are facing investigation by British Government. In the light on this, Shri Modi asked that Britain organize seminars in different cities of Gujarat and provide guidance on good colleges in the UK.
Shri Modi spoke about the opportunities for British companies in the development journey of Gujarat especially in port development and GIFT city. He also spoke about support from Britain’s state of the art technology in the field of climate change. Sir Bevan accepted an invitation to send a high level delegation from Britain to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit in 2013.
On behalf of the people of Gujarat, Shri Modi congratulated Sir Bevan on the Diamond Jubilee celebration of Queen Elizabeth II and congratulated Sir Bevan for the awards he has been honored with from the British Government.
Those present during the meeting included ACS Mr. Varun Maira, ACS Mr. SK Nanda, Principal Secretary (Industries) Mr. Maheshwar Sahu, Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Mr. GC Murmu and Secretary to the Chief Minister Mr. AK Sharma.
Today’s meeting marks resumption of ties between UK and Gujarat post 2002 riots.
Earlier this month, Britain’s Minister of State for the Foreign Office Hugo Swire had asked Bevan to visit Gujarat and meet Modi to discuss a “wide range of issues of mutual interests”, the British foreign office said in a statement.
Post-Godhra riots in which three Gujarat-origin British nationals were killed, the UK took a policy decision not to actively engage with Gujarat. Modi, since 2003, has not visited Britain.
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