Britain visit will strengthen ties with traditional friend: PM

India and UK are two vibrant democracies, which are proud of their diversity and multicultural societies, PM said.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his visit to Britain this month will help strengthen ties with a traditional friend while his visit to Turkey to attend the G20 summit would see a review of the decisions taken in last year's summit in Brisbane.

Modi, who will begin his Britain visit on November 12, wrote on his Facebook page that it is "aimed at strengthening cooperation with a traditional friend that is not only a major economic partner of India but also one of the leading economic players of the world".

"India and UK are two vibrant democracies, which are proud of their diversity and multicultural societies," he said.

Describing Britain as one of the fastest growing G7 economies and home to a strong financial services sector, he said the country "is known for its innovative zeal and for its creative industries".

He noted Britain has the largest diplomatic presence in India and was the third largest source of foreign investment while India too was the third largest source of FDI in terms of the number of projects in Britain and that he saw "immense scope" for improved economic and trade relations for mutual benefit.

Terming defence another important sector for bilateral cooperation, he said: "We have traditionally been cooperating extensively on defence and security issues and this visit will build on strong ties. Defence manufacturing will be a prime focus in my talks."

Stating that this was the first prime ministerial from India to Britain in almost a decade, he said he had the opportunity to meet his British counterpart David Cameron at various international forums and have "productive" meetings.

"Prime Minister Cameron is a good friend of India, and we in India have had the privilege of welcoming him thrice during his first term as prime minister," he noted.

He also addressed the 1.5-million strong Indian diaspora in Britain which he said has "contributed greatly to society in different walks of life".

"Lakhs of professionals and students are also working and studying in Britain. We want to deepen the bond between our diaspora and the people of India."

He also mentioned that he would address the Indian diaspora on November 13 at London's iconic Wembley Stadium, and also expressed joy at the opportunity to visit the house of Babasaheb Ambedkar during his visit.

The place was bought by the Maharashtra government earlier this year and it will be converted into a museum.

From Britain, Modi will leave for Antalya in Turkey on November 14 to attend the annual G20 summit, which he said is being held at a critical juncture - just after the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals agenda at the United Nations, and just before discussions on climate change at COP-21 in Paris.

"During the Summit, we will review the progress on decisions taken at the Brisbane Summit (of 2014) and take up issues of climate change, terrorism, refugees, weak growth in global economy, strategies for growth and employment, investment strategies, trade, energy and financial sector resilience."

Like at Brisbane, "India's focus on mitigating the menace of black money, tax erosion and bringing greater transparency" would remain, he said.

"There will be several bilateral meetings too with world leaders on the sidelines of the summit, which will help deepen our bilateral ties," he said.

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