India and the U.K. are set to boost defence ties with British Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth planning to undertake a key visit to New Delhi soon.

Britain has said there is tremendous scope for strengthening defence cooperation between India and the U.K.

“India is growing in importance economically and politically. There is a partnership growing between Britain and India and there is a very, very significant opportunity out there to forge defence cooperation,” Mr. Ainsworth said.

Speaking at the ‘Labour Friends of India’ reception, which was also attended by the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Mr. Ainsworth said he planned to visit India soon.

Indian High Commissioner Nalin Surie underlined the growing “strategic partnership” between the two countries.

“We (India) would like to underscore the strategic partnership between us and underwrite the partnership across the board, in which defence will be one of the elements,” Mr. Surie said at the function yesterday.

British parliamentarians Barry Gardiner, Virender Sharma, Keith Vaz, Paramjit Dhanda and former Employment Minister Tony McNulty were among the 80-odd prominent members who attended the reception.

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