`UK sees India as a leader`

Britain’s minister of state for Commonwealth has sought a leadership role for India in reviving the Commonwealth.

Last Updated: Sep 01, 2011, 13:13 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Britain’s minister of state for Commonwealth, Lord David Howell, on Wednesday sought a leadership role for India in reviving the 54-nation Commonwealth.

Speaking at the Indian Council of World Affairs here, Lord Howell said: “The UK sees India, as do other members of the Commonwealth, as a leader, exemplifying the principles that bring the commonwealth together – freedom, democracy, good governance and the rule of law, free trade and human rights.”

He added, “India matters to the Commonwealth, and it is evident that the Commonwealth matters to India."

Hailing the world’s largest democracy, Lord Howell said, “Perhaps India has more than most to gain from the Commonwealth. Not only is India the largest country in the organisation, it is the fourth largest contributor to programmes.”

He further underlined the change in the world order, saying “Economic power and influence is moving east and south, with the rise of the emerging economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

The British Foreign Office minister also insisted on working together on the important global issues.

The Commonwealth is scheduled to hold the summit of its leaders at Perth in Australia in October.