UK will back India’s emergence as a world power: Minister

LONDON: Britain will continue to stand with India and support it to fulfill its potential as a leading world power in the 21st century, a senior Indian-origin Cabinet minister has said in her Independence Day message.

Priti Patel, secretary of state for international development in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet, said the UK was ready for a great future with India as it leaves the European Union (EU).

“As India celebrates its 70th year of independence, it can be proud of the remarkable developments driven by the incredible passion and spirit of its people. India has grown into the world’s largest democracy, engaging people across the country in great political debate and securing India’s place as a global leader in the 21st Century.

“Britain will continue to stand with India and support it to fulfill its potential as a leading world power,” said the 45-year-old Conservative Party MP with her origins in Gujarat.

“From investment and trade to academia and culture, the UK and India are more connected than ever before. Our powerful people to people ties are unparallelled among any other nation and the unity we show is a sign of our strength and an example for others to admire. We have a shared history and as Britain leaves the European Union (EU) and sets itself on a new course, we will share a great future with India,” she noted.

Praising India for its “phenomenal economic growth”, the minister said the UK was keen to partner with India on all its plans for new infrastructure and investment to lift more people out of poverty.

Patel, who served as Indian Diaspora Champion in the previous David Cameron led UK government, made a special mention to the 1.5 million strong Indian Diaspora community as a “cornerstone” of the India-UK relationship.

“As a champion for the UK’s Indian Diaspora I want to mark this as an auspicious day of celebration for the Indian community here in the UK. The Indian Diaspora have played a proud and influential role in British life, making positive contributions to their communities,” she said.

India’s 70th year of independence is being marked across the UK with a series of events, including special coverage in the mainstream media.

The BBC is airing its “70 Years On: Partition Stories” series all of this month to coincide with Indian independence as well as the birth of Pakistan on August 14, 1947.

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