US Ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, had an interaction with Muslim community representatives here on Wednesday at Amir Mahal, the ancestral home of the Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali. The discussions covered issues related to the United States and the Muslim world, the community leaders said in a statement later.

The community leaders voiced concern over the continuing U.S. support for Israel despite its occupation of Palestine. “The trust deficit that exists between the Muslims and the American establishment was also discussed,” the statement said. They urged the US government to maintain a distinction between the peace-loving majority and “violent extremists”, in the war against terror.

The U.S. Consul General here, Jennifer McIntyre, and Political and Economic Officer in the Consulate-General, Matthew Bey, accompanied the Ambassador. Also present on the occasion were the Chief Khazi to Government of Tamil Nadu, Mufti Salauddin Mohammed Ayub, U. Mohammed Khalilullah, Munir Hoda, former civil servant, T. Rafeeq Ahmed, Imbich Ahmed, Dr. G. M. Yahya and A. Faizur Rahman, secretary general, Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought.

The Prince of Arcot appealed to the US Ambassador to convey their feelings to President Barack Obama and urge him to re-orient his policies in such a manner as to bring about an improvement in the US-Muslim relationship, the statement said.

On Thursday, a US Consulate-General official said there was no plan to close down the country’s mission in Chennai, as reported in a newspaper. Ms. Powell was in Chennai for a periodic meeting with Consulate staff including the Consul General.

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