India, Britain to focus on four growth areas


New Delhi : India and Britain Monday identified four priority areas for ramping up their ties even as they called for greater cooperation in the war against terror.

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The four areas are education, science and technology, trade and investment, visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh said at a joint press conference after their talks here.

“We should also have more people to people contacts,” Manmohan Singh said, even as he thanked Britain for its support to India’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat and also the India-US civilian nuclear deal.

Brown said the two countries had “taken concrete measures” in the war against terror and that there would be greater cooperation to stop the movement of explosives through ports and airports.

Asked if India’s Sachin Tendulkar would be recommended for knighthood, Brown replied: “Tendulkar is one of the greatest cricketers. It is not for me to decide, there is an independent honours committee (for recommending awards).”

There was also a “strong case” for awarding sporting achievements around the world, Brown said, pointing out that Australian cricketing legend Don Bradman had been so honoured.

Brown also congratulated the Indian team for coming back strongly to win the third Test against Australia at Perth to breathe life in the four-match series that the hosts now lead 2-1. “I applaud the team,” Brown said.

Both leaders also called for free and fair elections in Pakistan and sought reconciliation and restoration of democracy in Myanmar.