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Indian PM Modi arrives in UK for three day visit

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in the UK for a three day visit as a guest of his British counterpart, David Cameron.

The first day of the visit will be marked by a Red Arrows flypast before Mr Modi makes a speech to Parliament.

Also during the trip, he will meet the Queen, visit a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and address crowds at Wembley Stadium.

Mr Cameron said the visit marked “a historic opportunity” for Britain and India to help each other prosper.

“It’s an opportunity for two countries, tied by history, people and values, to work together to overcome the biggest challenges of our age,” Mr Cameron said.

“Prime Minister Modi and I intend to grab that opportunity with both hands.”

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Mr Modi said the aim of the visit was to strengthen “co-operation with a traditional friend”.

On arrival, he tweeted: “Reached London. India-UK ties will receive a great impetus. Will attend a wide range of programmes in UK.”

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BBC News correspondent Christian Fraser said India’s growing economy was “crucially important to British industry and trade”.

“We’re told that around £10bn worth of trade deals will be signed over the course of the next two days,” he added.

Downing Street protests

The visit comes at an unsettled time in India, where Mr Modi’s Hindu-nationalist party lost a recent regional election.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered the defeat in the northern Indian state of Bihar, amid concerns over a rise in religious intolerance in India.

His supporters will hope his visit will help him spring back from that defeat.

But protests are planned outside Downing Street with opponents dressing all in white, the colour of mourning in India.

Campaigners from the UK-based Awaaz Network say they are against Mr Modi’s “violent authoritarian agenda that seeks to undermine India’s democratic and secular fabric”.

Dozens of writers have signed a letter to Mr Cameron, asking him to urge Mr Modi to “provide better protection for writers, artists and other critical voices and ensure that freedom of speech is safeguarded” in India.

Source:https://www.bbc.com

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