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Featured Image: US Ambassador Richard Verma with Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna on Wednesday. Photo courtesy: Twitter handle on Verma

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 14 December: US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, today called on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at state secretariat Nabanna in Howrah.

The two held a meeting for nearly 45 minutes discussing ways to improve bilateral relations between Indian and USA. State industries minister Amit Mitra, chief secretary Basudeb Banerjee and director general of police Surajit Kar Purkayastha were present.

No word was available from Mamata Banerjee’s end as to what transpired in the meeting, even as while leaving Nabanna, Verma said that they have discussed areas of mutual interest to the two counties including bilateral trade and improving regional connectivity in Southeast Asia involving Bengal.

Sources said that the US Ambassador raised the issue of allowing multi-brand retail by US firms in West Bengal and requested the Chief Minister to reconsider her opposition to this.

The US Ambassador later in a tweet refereed the meeting as an “important meeting” on US-India relations.

Later in the afternoon, address news persons at the Kolkata Press Club, Verma said that there has been no negative impact of demonetisation on the bilateral relationship between India and the US.

The Russian embassy in Delhi had recently expressed dissatisfaction after the currency withdrawal limit post-demonetisation affected their day-to-day affairs. The Centre subsequently relaxed the limit for all foreign diplomats.