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India, UK cooperation on terrorism significant: PM

Last updated on: October 09, 2006 13:33 IST

Observing that United Kingdom is one of India's most important dialogue partners, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Monday that cooperation between the two countries in the area of combating terrorism is significant.

"Given the common threats we face, cooperation in the area of combating terrorism has become particularly significant," he said, before leaving on an official visit to the UK and Finland.

During the last three years there has been a substantial deepening of relations between India and UK in all key areas like trade and investment, science and technology, energy, education and research and cultural ties, he said.

Noting that he and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair would address an investment summit, Dr Singh said that UK was India's largest trading partner in the European Union and an important source of foreign investment.

Indian companies were amongst the major investors in the UK, he said.

During his stay, the prime minister would also visit the prestigious Cambridge University, which would confer an Honorary Doctorate on him. The chancellor of the university, the Duke of Edinburgh, will confer the honour.

During the six-day visit, which will also take him to Helsinki, Dr Singh will address the 7th India-EU Summit and meet Finland's leaders.

The India-EU Summit would provide an opportunity to review progress in implementation of the joint action plan adopted by the last summit held in India, Dr Singh said.

The leaders would review specific steps to enhance trade and investment ties with India and the EU, which is not only the largest trading partner but an important source of foreign direct investment and high technology, he said.

In recognition of India's growing stature, the prime minister said, a strategic partnership was formalised during The Hague Summit in 2004.

"Since then, our dialogue has expanded to issues ranging from globalization, counter terrorism, energy, environment and high tech areas such as ITER and the Galileo Project," he said. "An India-EU Business Summit being held in Helsinki will provide an opportunity to reinforce the message of India as a secure and profitable trade and investment destination."

Dr Singh added that the discussions at the swould be reflected in a joint statement that would be issued on its conclusion.

During his stay in Helsinki, the prime minister said he would call on President Tarja Halonen as well as Prime Minister Vanhanen who had visited India in March this year.

Observing that Finland is a world leader in high technology sectors including tele-communications, information technology and biotechnology, Dr Singh hoped his visit to Finland would add further momentum to bilateral relations between the two countries.

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