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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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Blackwill opens account through visa

By Lakshmi Balakrishnan

NEW DELHI, JULY 30. It may not be a conventional way to mark your entry, but the new U.S. Ambassador to India, Mr. Robert.D.Blackwill, started his tenure today by spending time not with the media or the city's socialites, but with visa applicants.

Mr. Blackwill, who took over from Mr. Richard Celeste, said that visa handling operations and procedures were a reflection of the attention given to the rapidly progressing Indo-U.S. ties. As the new Ambassador he would ensure a reduction in the time spent by Indians while waiting in the visa line.

Describing the visa line as the face of the U.S. Government that most Indians get to interact with here, the Ambassador said he had wanted to begin the tenure by seeing things for himself. ``I want the experience that Indians encounter in the visa process to be of the highest possible quality,'' he said.

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