New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party, riding high on its victory in the recent assembly elections, has more reason to cheer. In a major boost to BJP Prime Ministerial Narendra Modi, former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice claimed the Gujarat riots were no longer an issue and the US would work with Modi if he became the Prime Minister.
Speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate, Rice said, "I think we have put behind us the past and we have established the foundation for the future and now it's a matter of pursuing on a consistent basis at all levels in both countries the fruits and benefits of that foundation that we put in place." Following is an excerpt from the interview with Condoleezza Rice:
Karan Thapar: How would America and let me be more pointed, how would Condoleezza Rice herself view the prospect of Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister of India?
Condoleezza Rice: India is a great democracy and whoever India choses the Prime Minister is going to be the partner for the United States and I believe since our fundamental interests and values are so increasingly aligned, our values have always been aligned, our interests are increasingly aligned that the Prime Minister of India and the President of the United States, whoever is in India and certainly would be President Obama for a number of years further, that they will find a way to push this relationship forward.
Karan Thapar: Are you saying to me that 2002 no longer rankles, you have no qualms or concerns about it? It was something that happened on your watch as NSA. Is that now part of the past and forgotten or is it something that still needs to be addressed in establishing or finding a way in keeping the relationship going?
Condoleezza Rice: No. I think we have put behind us the past and we have established the foundation for the future and now it's a matter of pursuing on a consistent basis at all levels in both countries the fruits and benefits of that foundation that we put in place.
Karan Thapar: But I am going to repeat the most important thing you said. The past is behind us.
Condoleezza Rice: The past is behind us.