Cameron meets President Pratibha Patil

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New Delhi, July 29 (ANI): British Prime Minister David Cameron met President Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the Indian presidential palace in New Delhi on Thursday.

Cameron is leading the biggest trade delegation in modern times to India as a statement of intent amid talk of Britain wanting to forge a 'special relationship' with India-a phrase more closely associated with Britain's ties with the United States.

Earlier, Cameron visited the memorial of India's freedom icon Mahatma Gandhi.

As a major step towards boosting defence ties, Cameron sealed a major 1.1 billion USD aircraft deal, on Wednesday (July 28), enabling the UK's premier defence manufacturers, British Aerospace (BAE) Systems, to supply 57 Hawk Jets to the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

India belongs to the 'BRIC' group of rapidly growing emerging economies along with China, Brazil and Russia.

Cameron has often lamented that Britain trades more with Ireland than it does with all the BRICs combined and he has vowed to remedy that with vigorous pro-trade diplomacy.

His visit is not intended to yield any immediate deals between the two governments, but is rather seen as the dawn of a long-term British strategy to focus relations with India on economic exchanges.

Cameron is later scheduled to meet various Indian leaders and also hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Singh. (ANI)

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