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Britain for special ties with India: Cameron

Last updated on: July 29, 2010 18:44 IST

Britain for special ties with India: Cameron

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British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, paying homage on Thursday in New Delhi.  Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave Cameron a warm welcome at the Indian Presidential Place. He also met India''s Foreign Minister S M Krishna with his delegation to hold discussions.

Image: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron signs autographs for children inside a stadium in New Delhi on Thursday
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Cameron said he was also looking to strengthen cultural ties along with a push for more bilateral economic deals.
Cameron leads the biggest trade delegation in modern times to India as a statement of intent amid talk of Britain wanting to forge a ''special relationship'' with India -- a phrase more closely associated with Britain''s ties with the United States.

Image: David Cameron plays cricket inside a stadium in New Delhi on Thursday
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Britain for special ties with India: Cameron

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As a major step towards boosting defence ties, Cameron sealed a major $1.1 billion aircraft deal, on Wednesday, enabling the UK's premier defence manufacturers, British Aerospace (BAE) Systems, to supply 57 Hawk Jets to the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. India belongs to the BRIC's group of rapidly growing emerging economies along with China, Brazil and Russia.

Image: Cameron pays tributes at Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat in New Delhi
Photographs: Reuters
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Cameron has often lamented that Britain trades more with Ireland than it does with all the BRICs combined and he has vowed to remedy that with vigorous pro-trade diplomacy.


Image: Cameron holds a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat in New Delhi on Thursday
Photographs: Reuters
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His visit is not intended to yield any immediate deals between the two governments, but is rather seen as the dawn of a long-term British strategy to focus relations with India on economic exchanges.


Image: David Cameron and President Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Cameron is later scheduled to meet various Indian leaders and also hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Singh.


Image: Cameron and Indian PM Manmohan Singh walk during Cameron's ceremonial reception on Thursday
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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