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British PM David Cameron to visit India

Britain's new Prime Minister David Cameron, who heads the Conservative-Liberal Democrats coalition government, would visit India later this year, official sources said on Friday.

world Updated: Jun 18, 2010 13:30 IST

Britain's new Prime Minister David Cameron, who heads the Conservative-Liberal Democrats coalition government, would visit India later this year, official sources said on Friday.

Cameron, who has expressed determination to establish a new "special relationship" with India, will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on June 27 in Toronto on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, the sources said.

This will be the first meeting between the two leaders, since Cameron took over as the British Prime Minister last month.

Like the previous Labour Government, the new coalition government is also keen to build a special relationship with India.

This was reflected in Queen Elizabeth II's address to joint session of Parliament where she announced: "We will work to establish a new 'special relationship' with India."

India has formally extended invitations to Prime Minister Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague to visit India and they have accepted.

"Hopefully the visits will take place this year," the source said.

The decision of the Queen not to attend the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi would not have any adverse impact on the bilateral relations, the source said.

The Queen's inability to visit India to inaugurate the Games on October 3 was made known to Indian Government in the second week of March itself.

"We were told in the 2nd week of March itself that she has scheduling problem and Prince Charles would deputise her to inaugurate the Games."

On the question of acquiring the 12 rare Tagore paintings which were bought by anonymous bidders for a whopping 1.6 million pounds this week at Sotheby's auction, the source pointed out that "we were not authorised to do anything" about the auction.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma will lead a high-level business delegation from India comprising members of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to Britain later this month.

This will be first such delegation to visit the UK since the coalition government came to power.

The CII is organising a number of business interactions and conferences during the CII CEOs Annual delegation to the UK for two days from June 28.

While the CII-LSE conference on "India's Growth Outlook and the Business Opportunity" will be held on June 28, the CII Conference on UK India Trade and Investments will be held the next day.

Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal is also scheduled to address the UK-India Trade and Investments conference.