SEARCH

News » National

Updated: February 16, 2012 01:25 IST

Rafale decision no setback to ties with India: U.K. Minister

K. Venkataramanan
Comment (3)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
U.K. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Jeremy Brown.
The Hindu+SEP+THE HINDU U.K. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Jeremy Brown.

‘Typhoon is the best product for your requirements'

Britain does not regard India's decision to buy French combat aircraft Rafale as a setback to bilateral ties, but believes that it is legitimate to carry on making a case for Eurofighter Typhoon made by a European consortium that includes Britain.

“Britain doesn't regard it as a setback ... Britain's relationship with India is not dependent on a single contract,” visiting U.K. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Jeremy Browne said in an interview with The Hindu on Tuesday.

India and the U.K. shared links across culture, education, science, trade and business, besides working together politically, he pointed out.

“Our understanding is that the French option is the preferred bidder, but the contract is yet to be finalised. While the process is not complete, we are keen to carry on making the case for the [the European consortium's] offer,” he said.

Asked whether he would raise the issue with officials in New Delhi, he said: “We do want to, but not in a way that is disrespectful … Given the fact that there is no final conclusion, we feel it is entirely legitimate.”

Mr. Browne was at pains to stress that the U.K. was not questioning the validity of the process by which India chose Rafale for exclusive negotiations, but it was interested in understanding it. “We want to make sure we are very competitive in future.”

He said the consortium had the “strongest product, strongest in terms of wider collaboration on technology,” but added that India was entirely free to decide from whom to buy aircraft of this type. “It is for the government making the purchase to decide, but it is the best product. To me, it is the best product for your requirements.”

Explaining how Britain saw India's role in international affairs, he said the challenge before India was that it had to play a greater role on the world stage, especially in the G-20. His country was seeking to work closely with India to achieve international objectives.

On the bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat on Monday in New Delhi, he did not want to speculate whether the perpetrators could be linked to Iran, but was critical of Iran's “sponsorship” of terrorism, its human rights record and its nuclear ambitions.

Stressing that Britain favoured amicable and peaceful resolution of disputes, he said: “We are not seeking [any] conflict with Iran, we are not taking any issue off the table.”

And he saw a role for India in this. “Our hope is that India will work with Britain, wherever appropriate.” This would be in the interests of the world and stability in West Asia.

Asked whether the prolonged delay in arriving at a two-state solution for the Palestinian question was contributing to tensions across the world, he said it was indeed a viable solution for the Palestinian people and Israel's security concerns. “If the question is would arriving at a two-state solution be a big step forward, the answer is yes; but if it is whether the current situation is an excuse for Iran to pursue its nuclear programme or sponsor terrorism, the answer is no.”

Mr. Browne said Britain did not see India in the context South Asia, but as an international player alongside China and Brazil. While Britain was reducing its budget for diplomatic activity in general, the allocation for India was being increased. Relations with India were nowhere near their full potential, and there was considerable scope for expansion.

Keywords: Indo-U.K ties

RELATED NEWS

India opens negotiations for RafaleFebruary 18, 2012

UK keen to offer Eurofighter to IndiaFebruary 13, 2014

More In: National | News

There are a lot of deals with the French. To just hold and continue dealing on a costlier aircraft, because it could benefit students in the UK (regardless of whether they continue there or return back to India in search of 'better opportunities') makes little sense.
If the UK offers lesser options w.r.t the education there, they are losing out on a lot of Income and goodwill. It is high time that India looks way beyond their limitations. They are no lesser in terms of skill and brains, to start a good educational institution. Maybe it will happen if UK rejects Indian education Visas.
Typhoon wasn't the only other competitor in the tendering process, by the way.

from:  Venkatesan
Posted on: Feb 24, 2012 at 11:49 IST

Mr. Syed, the basis of selecting the French planes was based on a tender process. The
lowest bidder wins. Plain and simple.

from:  Padmakumar Rao
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 16:05 IST

By neglecting the British bid and choosing to buy French fighter aircrafts one wonders on what basis India made this decision. The ties of France except the purchase of military aircrafts has no significance to India. But Indian students in UK are already at the receiving end after this decision. The new amendments made by British government were timely and announced after the India's decline on British Aircraft deal.

The new amendments on students from India will seriously affect the interests and prospects. Will the Indian government ever realise students spend millions of rupees from their hard earned income and are punished for no reason, due to the stupid decision of Congress party.

from:  Syed Kabeer Ahmed
Posted on: Feb 18, 2012 at 06:15 IST
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

International

Tamil Nadu

Andhra Pradesh

Karnataka

Kerala


O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in National

Not having a toilet remains the major problem in sanitation. File Photo

More men among toilet-sceptics in India

The figure for households without toilets is 47 per cent for Hindu households as against 31 per cent for Muslims and 16 per cent for Christians and Sikhs, according to NSS data. »