London: British Premier David Cameron today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “extraordinary” visit to the UK this week will help build a modern partnership between the two great countries to combat challenges like terrorism, climate change and poverty.
The British Prime Minister also said that a special tricolour flypast by the Red Arrows Royal Air Force (RAF) Aerobatic Team will take place in honour of his Indian counterpart.
“This is a special week for Britain and for India because of the extraordinary visit of Prime Minister Modi. I think it’s going to be spectacular. We are going to see for the first time ever the Red Arrows fly with colours of the Indian flag coming out.
“I can’t tell you how many officials in the Ministry of Defence it took to find the orange smoke; it was one of the most complicated procurement,” Cameron joked, during a special Diwali reception hosted at 10 Downing Street today.
“What I hope we can achieve this week as we have this great visit is not to rest on the laurels of the past and the ties of history, language and culture, important as they are.
“Not simply to celebrate the immense economic ties, with India a top investor into Britain and Britain a top investor into India…But actually building a thoroughly modern partnership between our two great countries,” he said.
“I am excited by this visit. I am excited by what Prime Minister Modi is doing in India and I’m excited about the partnership that we can build together…To me what is most exciting is that we are talking of two countries that have very close ties and a very strong past together.
“But what I think is important is the future that we can have together. The future of the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest democracy,” he added.
Cameron highlighted a stop at the Gandhi statue in Parliament Square among the many “important visits and many important discussions” to take place over the course of the three-day visit by Modi starting on Thursday.
On a lighter note, he made reference to the massive community reception planned at Wembley Stadium on Friday where Modi is expected to address a crowd of 60,000.
“I don’t know what magic that is as I struggle to fill Wembley town hall,” he joked.
Stressing on the importance of India and the UK working together, he said: “We both face so many of the same challenges, whether it is fighting terrorism and Islamist extremism, which has done so much damage to India and to Britain.
“We must stand and have that fight together, whether it is fighting climate change, entrenched poverty, or finding jobs and livelihoods for our young people and growth in our cities. These are challenges that Britain and India can face together in a thoroughly modern partnership.