British PM David Cameron bats for closer UK-India ties

IndiaCameron, who held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on range of bilateral, regional and international issues, said he was really excited about what both the countries can achieve by enhancing cooperation. (PTI)

Seeking broadening of bilateral ties, British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday said UK and India should be "partners of choice" as both the countries can effectively deal with various challenges like combating terrorism by working closely with each other.

Cameron, who held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on range of bilateral, regional and international issues, said he was really excited about what both the countries can achieve by enhancing cooperation. On immigration issue, he clarified that there was no limit on number of Indian students going to UK.

"Britain and India should be partners of choice; we both want to fight terrorism. The future really excites me about what Britain and India can do together," said Cameron, who arrived Delhi last night on day-long visit.

Speaking on Sachin Tendulkar's last test match, Cameron said, "I have a picture of his at the UK stadium, I hope he likes that as a gift."

On the visa bond issue, Cameron said Britain needs to control immigration as it is a much smaller country geographically than India but at the same time he clarified that there was no limit on number of Indian students going to India.

"Fact one, there is no limit on the number of Indian students that can come to Britain and study; fact two, having completed your university degree there is no limit on the number of people who can do a job in Britain," he said.

Cameron's visit to India comes over a week after UK announced its decision to scrap the controversial 3,000-pound visa bond scheme for some "high risk" overseas visitors to the the country including those from India which was scheduled to be implemented on a pilot basis this month.

India, which had raised the matter with the UK Government, welcomed the decision.

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