Britain on Thursday extended its support to India in its campaign for becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a move that comes close on the heels of a U.S. backing.
The support came at a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his British counterpart David Cameron at a meeting in Seoul on the margins of the G20 summit.
External Affairs ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash, briefing reporters on the meeting, recalled that Britain had earlier supported India’s case for non-permanent membership of the UNSC.
The Prime Minister and Mr. Cameron had been meeting regularly even before the latter’s state visit to India recently.
The two had met in Toronto in June after his election as Prime Minister of Britain and in 2006 when he had come to New Delhi after his election as leader of the opposition.
The spokesman said the two countries shared a strategic partnership from 2004 which was converted into an enhanced partnership during Cameron’s visit in July.
The U.K. has been India’s major trading partner with trade at $11 billion and British investment in India placed at $6 billion.
Britain is the fourth largest investor in India.
The India-U.K. CEO’s forum, co-chaired by Ratan Tata and Peter Sands, Chairman of the Standard Chartered Bank, has been activated and it formed the bed rock of the bilateral economic relationship.
The Prime Minister also met his Ethiopian counterpart Meles Zanawi and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Mr. Zenawi was appreciative of the excellent support India gave in the area of hi-tech programme as New Delhi proposed to set up a vocational training institute in Ethiopia.