"This has nothing to do with an endorsement. I am a representative of a foreign country, like my European colleagues. We have to respect that India is a democracy with functioning institutions and we have to stay neutral, that is what we are doing," Steiner said here when asked if his three-day visit to Gujarat was an endorsement of Modi.
"You have heard in our speeches this -- we are not endorsing a politician," he said. Asked if Germany would give visa to Modi if he became the Prime Minister, the Ambassador said "let's not discuss hypothetical things but let's discuss principled positions, our position -- the position of my country as well as partners in European Union -- is a position of respect for India.
EU countries have ended the boycott of Modi.
"Respect for the institutions, for those who are elected, for those who are office-holders and of course we will respect any results the Indian voters will deliver early next year. If we do not do this, we would not honour our words -- India is the biggest democracy of the world with functioning institutions," Steiner said.
EU countries ended the boycott of Modi after Germany and other European Union states hosted a lunch for him in New Delhi when he won the elections in Gujarat last December for the third time. EU countries had imposed a diplomatic boycott on Modi's government after the 2002 riots.