Sunday, May 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

UK backs India’s stand

London, May 10
Britain has once again backed India’s place for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw during the Sixth Indo-British Round Table here supported stand for a permanent seat at the Security Council.

During a meeting with India’s Planning Commission Deputy Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Sixth Indo-British Round Table K.C. Pant, Mr Straw also underlined the importance of the country’s friendship with India.

At the end of the two-day Round Table, Mr Pant told reporters that the meeting noted that the follow-up to the Delhi Declaration signed by Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee and British PM Tony Blair in January 2002, had been encouraging and led to improved relations and cooperation in all fields.

Mr Pant said there was general endorsement for involving the U N in the reconstruction of Iraq during discussions on multilaterism and multilateral institutions.

Mr Pant said both groups felt that in order to be more effective a reform of the UN was needed and particularly that of the Security Council was vital.

“On trade relations there was consensus that efforts must be made to double the bilateral trade from £ 5 billion to £ 10 billion by 2007,” Mr Pant said.

Referring to the outsourcing to India by major British companies, a CEO of a major British firm clarified that the agitation against it would not affect the movement of shifting call centres. “We will stick to it because of low cost and high quality of services available in India.”

The recommendations of the Round Table included the two governments working together to ensure the success of the Ministerial meeting at Cancun in September this year. It commended the cooperation in countering terrorism and noted the significance of the establishment of the Indo-British Parliamentary Forum to increase contacts between parliamentarians of the two countries.

The reforms in the banking, insurance and media sectors were welcomed but both the governments were urged to break the deadlock in the negotiations over air services. Better and more facilities for visas on a reciprocal basis was also stressed. UNI

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