London, Nov.13 (ANI): Natural partners India and the United Kingdom will look for ways to take their existing bilateral relationship to the next level during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ongoing three-day state visit, feels Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a prestigious London-based think tank.
Hosting a “Modi’s India” event here recently, the director of the EU-Asia Centre, Dr. Fraser Cameron, who took part in the panel event that previewed this week’s visit to the UK by Modi, drew attention to Modi’s global diplomatic drive over the previous 18 months.
He highlighted the need for both India and the EU to make progress on their stalled free trade discussions.
Dr. Cameron further added that Prime Minister Modi would use his visit to seek support for India’s bid to join the UN Security Council as a permanent member, and that he would most likely address issues related to the accessibility of the UK labour market to Indian skilled workers.
He also said that Modi’s planned rally at Wembley Stadium was typical of his enthusiasm for direct engagement with citizens and personal leadership of India’s diplomacy.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Charles Tannock, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) pointed out that Modi’s visit would improve the UK-India bilateral relationship and further consolidate Modi’s approach of using the Indian Diaspora as a diplomatic tool to enhance India’s global profile.
He mentioned that the UK’s relative neglect of its friendship with India under the Labour government from 1997-2010 had allowed other countries, particularly France and Germany, to improve their own standing vis-a-vis Delhi.
Dr. Tannock said that India and the UK are natural partners, but that Modi will seek to raise security concerns with his counterpart David Cameron.
Dr Tannock further pointed out that the timing of Modi’s visit to the UK may not be entirely coincidental, coming as it does within a month of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit.
Dr Gareth Price from Chatham House also participated in the panel discussion, which was chaired by RUSI senior research fellow Shashank Joshi. (ANI)