Modi leaves for five-day  UK, Turkey visit

NEW DELHI :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for five-day official tour  of UK and Turkey.

This is Mr Modi’s first official visit to UK, and is the  first Prime Ministerial visit  to the country in almost a decade. In Turkey, he will attend the G-20 summit.

In London, the Prime Minister will have wide ranging bilateral talks with his British counterpart David  Cameron, with whom he would be meeting third time after assuming the office.

“I have had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister David Cameron at various international forums and our meetings have been productive. Prime Minister Cameron is a good friend of India’s, and we in India have had the privilege of welcoming him thrice during his first term as Prime Minister,” Mr Modi said in his facebook update.

Defence, trade and people-people contacts are likely to be the prime focus of the visit.  UK is one of the fastest growing G-7 economies and is home to a strong financial services sector. It is known for its innovative zeal and for its creative industries.

UK has the largest diplomatic presence in India and is the 3rd largest source of foreign investment in our country. India too is the 3rd largest source of FDI (in terms of the number of projects) in UK. “I see immense scope for our economic and trade relations to improve and this will benefit both our economies” the PM said.

Another area of importance for bilateral cooperation is defence. Both countries have traditionally been cooperating extensively on defence and security issues and the visit is sure to build on strong ties.

“Defence manufacturing will be a prime focus in my talks. There will be deliberations on clean energy and I will seek to achieve progress in our endeavour to make clean energy more affordable and accessible for the 1.25 billion people of India, as also to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of science, technology and education. UK remains a preferred choice for Indian students,” he said.

In UK, Mr Modi will attend a wide range of programmes. During the visit, Mr Modi will call on Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace at a lunch  hosted by her.

He will have comprehensive talks with Prime Minister David Cameron, first in London and then at  Chequers.

Mr Modi will be addressing a special session of British Parliament, the first address by any Indian Prime Minister. He will also address the City of London at an event at The Old Library, Guildhall. There will also be a visit to the Jaguar Land Rover factory at Solihull.

In London, the Prime Minister will pay homage at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. On November 13, he will address Indian diaspora community at Wembley Stadium. The Prime minister will inaugurate a memorial dedicated to  Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.  “It is a matter of immense joy and pride that I will visit the place where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar  lived during his stay in London,” he said.  The house, where Dr Ambedkar lived during his stay in Britain has been acquired by the  Government of Maharashtra and it has been converted into a museum for people to visit and pay  their respects.

Next day the Prime Minister will unveil a statue of Basaveshwara, a great scholar,  philosopher and statesman.

His visit to to Turkey for G20 Summit will commence the same day. This Summit is being held at a 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 on Nov 30-Dec 1. During the Summit, the world leaders will review the progress on decisions taken at the Brisbane Summit 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. During the summit, India will  focus on mitigating the menace of black money, tax erosion and bringing greater transparency remains.          Mr Modi will be holding several bilateral meetings on the margins of the summit.  (UNI)


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