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A ceremonial welcome for Modi in London

Friday, November 13, 2015 - 01:37

Indian Prime Minister Modi is accorded the ceremonial guard of honor at London's Kings Charles Street as he begins his three-day visit to UK. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded the ceremonial guard of honor at London's Kings Charles Street as he began his three-day visit to United Kingdom on Thursday (November 12). Modi was welcomed by his British counterpart David Cameron. The Indian PM's trip marks a remarkable turnaround for a man who was banned from Britain for 10 years over his alleged role as chief minister of Gujarat in riots that killed about 1,000 people in 2002. Bruised by his Bharatiya Janata Party's defeat in an election in populous Bihar state last week after a campaign in which he played a prominent part, Modi is seeking to regain the political initiative by increasing investment and growth. He hopes the UK tour will yield trade deals worth billions of dollars Diplomats say deals worth 8-12 billion pounds ($12-18 billion) could be signed during Modi's visit to London, with the Indian leader keen to buy 20 more BAE Systems Hawk trainer aircraft to be made in India's southern city of Bengaluru. The emotional high point of the visit is likely to be a mass rally at Wembley Stadium on Friday (November 13) during which Modi will address some 60,000 supporters from the Indian diaspora in Britain, which numbers 1.5 million. The event - three times bigger than the crowd he drew to New York's Madison Square Garden last year. Supporters hope the Wembley Stadium address will help him spring back from a humiliating election loss and reassert his authority on the global stage. Modi held delegation-level talks with Cameron after his ceremonial welcome in London. He is scheduled to address the British parliament later in the day, before heading to the Guildhall, a historic building in the heart of the City of London financial district, where he will give a speech to a business audience. Cameron, meanwhile, is seeking to revamp economic ties with fast-growing Asian nations, including India, as part of his push on business-focused diplomacy. Modi's bilateral visit follows a pomp-laden visit the British government gave China's President Xi Jinping last month that yielded $62 billion of deals. He is slated to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II during his visit.

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A ceremonial welcome for Modi in London

Friday, November 13, 2015 - 01:37