Prime Minister Modi’s UK visit
The two nations also concluded negotiations over a civil nuclear deal that seeks to increase bilateral cooperation in the field of civil and military technology and nuclear research projects
With 1.4 million Indian-origin Britons ready to welcome Prime Minister Modi and the need for Prime Minister David Cameron to woo them, the stage was already set for a successful UK visit by Modi. Before the visit, British media spoke of informed political calculations and the ruling Conservatives extended a hand of friendship, both because Indian-origin voters are viewed as increasingly important and India a burgeoning international economic partner. Significantly, India was mentioned 17 times in the recent Conservative Party election manifesto and David Cameron is enthusiastic about India as a permanent UN Security Council (UNSC) member. In the same breath, British media also spoke about Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was feted without respite in UK by royals, ministers and celebrities mobilised on a grand scale, “with token demonstrations by Tibetan protesters but lit- tle else to unsettle the shameless bonhomie with a man whose wife sang and pirouetted to encourage soldiers who massacred at Tiananmen”. Just prior to Cameron’s visit to India in 2006 as the leader of the opposition, Cameron wrote, “India is the world’s largest democracy, a rapidly growing economy, a huge potential trading partner, a diverse society with a strong culture of pluralism and a key regional player—a force for stability in a troubled part of the world.” He had suggested that though Britain’s relationship with India ‘goes deep’, it ‘should go deeper’.
India and UK had forged a ‘strategic partnership’ in 2005 but Conservatives are keen to give it a fresh momentum, UK already being the largest European investor in India, and India the second largest investor in UK. During his visit to UK, Prime Minister Modi addressed the British Parliament, had discussions with his counterpart, lunched with the Queen, met with the CEOs and vowed 70,000 Indian-origin
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the joint press briefing with the Prime Minister of UK, David Cameron,
at Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London
LT GENERAL P.C. KATOCH (RETD)