The British Conservative Party will support India’s permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and strive for a European Union-India free trade agreement.
The Tory election manifesto was released on Tuesday by Prime Minister David Cameron. Britain goes to the polls on May 7.
The Conservative Party will “build on our strong relationship with India, push for an ambitious EU-India trade deal and support India’s bid for permanent representation on the UN Security Council,” the document said.
It preceded that commitment with a declaration that the party “will push for freer global trade, concluding major trade deals with the US, India and Japan and reinvigorating the World Trade Organisation”.
The manifesto also gave a thumbs up to India’s close ally in South Asia, Afghanistan, which could even be interpreted as a warning to the Pakistani Army and Afghan Taliban’s designs.
“We will ensure that the significant achievements of our (British) armed forces in Afghanistan are maintained; and support the Government of Afghanistan in ensuring that the country remains stable and never again becomes a haven for international terrorists.”
One of Cameron’s first visits both as party leader and prime minister respectively were to India. The Conservative’s 2010 manifesto spoke of wanting a “special relationship” with India. This, after it entered government, was officially designated as “an enhanced partnership” in a speech delivered by Queen Elizabeth in the British parliament.
Cameron has visited India thrice during his current term as prime minister, without a reciprocal response from the Indian side.