The United States says its ambassador to India will meet opposition leader Narendra Modi, who could become New Delhi's next prime minister.
The planned meeting, confirmed by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, represents a change of posture toward the Hindu nationalist.
Washington imposed a visa ban on Modi following criticism of his handling of anti-Muslim riots in 2002 in Gujarat state, where he is chief minister. The violence left more than 1,000 people dead.
A U.S. embassy spokesman said Modi's meeting with Ambassador Nancy Powell is part of a "concentrated outreach to senior political and business leaders" to highlight the U.S.-India relationship.
Modi could become prime minister if his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) performs well in the upcoming parliamentary elections, as recent polls suggest.