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Cameron Wants 'New Special Relationship' With India

Conservative leader David Cameron, the youngest British Prime Minister in almost 200 years, favours a "new special relationship" with India and supports its bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. 43-year-old Cameron,
PTI May 12, 2010 18:32 IST
PTI


Conservative leader David Cameron, the youngest British Prime Minister in almost 200 years, favours a "new special relationship" with India and supports its bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

43-year-old Cameron, whose party bagged the maximum 306 seats in the May 6 polls, took over as the new Prime Minister last night after incumbent Gordon Brown tendered his resignation to Queen Elizabeth.

India was the first country Cameron visited after taking over as the Conservative leader in 2006.

He has promised to forge a "new special relationship" with India and support New Delhi's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security council.

His party's manifesto says that the Conservatives will "work to establish a new special relationship with India, the world's largest democracy."

It also commits the party to "work towards greater stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan".

Cameron wrote in an article after visiting New Delhi: "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 added: "So this is India's time. For most of the past half century we in the West have assumed that we set the pace and we set the global agenda. Well now we must wake up to a new reality. We have to share global leadership with India, and with China.

 "And we must recognise that India has established beyond argument, through its economic and political success, its right to a seat at the top table. India, one of the great civilisations of the world, is truly great again."

At 43, Cameron is the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812. Liverpool had assumed office at the age of 42.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated Conservative leader David Cameron on his appointment as the new British Premier and invited him to make an early visit to India.

"In a very warm and friendly call, Prime Minister Singh offered his congratulations to Mr Cameron on his appointment as Prime Minister," a Downing Street spokesman said.

"Both reinforced the strong bilateral relationship between India and the United Kingdom and looked forward to strengthening it further. Prime Minister Singh invited the Prime Minister to make an early visit to Delhi."

During the 10-minute call, both leaders discussed a number of bilateral issues but foremost was a discussion on the world economy.

India was the first country Cameron visited after taking over as the Conservative party leader in 2006. He has committed his party to forging a 'new special relationship' with India. PTI