Kolkata, April 30 (IANS) US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell Monday had a 30-minute meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, apparently to prepare the ground for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to the city next week.
Cinton is likely to have talks with Banerjee on May 7.
Describing her meeting with Banerjee as "excellent", Powell said the chief minister "shared her vision of revitalising West Bengal".
"It's exciting to sense the new energy in the state, and I'm amazed by all the transformation that has taken place," Powell said in a statement.
The US diplomat said she was looking forward to welcoming Clinton to Kolkata next week. "She has been to Kolkata before, but many years ago," she said, referring to her visit to the city to attend Mother Teresa's funeral in September 1997.
"I think this visit will be an opportunity for her to see first-hand how much this city and Eastern India have transformed and what a bright future lies ahead," Powell said.
She termed West Bengal as a "fascinating state in a fascinating region", and said "Eastern and Northeast India clearly have exciting futures and great importance to India's regional presence".
Powell said she also had a productive exchange with state Governor M.K. Narayanan Monday morning.
"This is a quick visit for me. My primary goal is to meet with my team in Kolkata and begin to get reacquainted with Kolkata and the region," she added.
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