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Indian PM welcomes 'growing and vibrant' UK partnership

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed a "growing and vibrant partnership" with the UK today as it was announced that the two countries would be entering into £9 billion worth of deals together.

Not everyone was as optimistic about the deals though as protesters descended on Downing Street to accuse Modi of "stoking the fires of sectarianism" in his previous role as a governor in his country.

ITV News' International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar reports:

Indian PM: 'We will make this relationship count'

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his country's relationship with UK will be transformed.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a speech in the Houses of Parliament on the first day of his three-day trip to the UK.

Speaking after the announcement of £9bn in new ventures between the UK and India, Mr Modi said "it is a huge moment for our two great nations".

"We must seize our opportunities, remove obstacles to cooperation, instill full confidence in our relations and remain sensitive to each others interests."

"We will transform our strategy partnership and we will make this relationship count as one of the leading global partnerships", he added.


PM announces £9bn of ventures between UK and India

David Cameron speaks at a press conference alongside India's prime minister. Credit: Pool

David Cameron has announced new ventures worth more than £9 billion between India and the UK.

Speaking at a joint press conference with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Cameron said it was "a real opportunity to open a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries".

He also said the UK firmly supports the notion of a permanent seat for India on UN security council.

Mr Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Britain in almost a decade, also confirmed he has signed civil nuclear agreement with Britain.

His three-day trip will include a meeting with the Queen and a rally at Wembley Stadium on Friday, where 60,000 mostly British-Indian ticket-holders will be in attendance.

Protesters gather outside Downing Street for Modi visit

Protesters showed their opposition to Narendra Modi outside Downing Street. Credit: Reuters

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Downing Street ahead of Narendra Modi's arrival on Thursday.

Messages on the banners of those protesting against his presence included "Modi not welcome", "Stop religious persecution", and "Remove illegal blockade in Nepal".

Mr Modi is holding talks with David Cameron at Number 10. Credit: Reuters

More than 200 writers, including Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie and Val McDermid, have written an open letter to David Cameron to raise concerns about freedom of expression in India during his talks with Mr Modi.

A number of pro-Modi demonstrators also held banners and chanted outside Downing Streeet ahead of the visit.

Pro-Modi demonstrators make themselves heard. Credit: Reuters


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