India, Britain discuss visa issue, Afghanistan

June 1st, 2012 - 11:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) India Friday pressed Britain for easing the visa regime for businessmen and students to boost investment and discussed the volatile situation in Afghanistan.

Foreign Secretary Rajan Mathai met UK Permanent Under Secretary Simon Fraser and held the annual foreign office consultations.

“The discussions focused on various aspects of our bilateral relations, including economic ties, visa and consular issues as well as a review of the calendar of visits,” official sources said after the talks.

India pitched for greater British investment. “Issues relating to investment climate were discussed. India would like to see greater investment flow from UK,” the sources said.

Defying the global slowdown, the India-Britain trade exceeded $16 billion in 2011-12 compared to $12.5 billion in the previous financial year. Britain is the fourth largest investor in India and India is the third largest investor in Britain. Around 700 Indian companies are operational in Britain.

The two sides also discussed a host of regional and international issues, including developments in West Asia and Syria.

“There was an exchange of views on the situation in Afghanistan and other developments in South Asia and Europe, including the Eurozone crisis,”said the sources. The talks focused on closer collaboration on the security situation in Afghanistan in view of the withdrawal of international coalition troops from that country,” the sources said.

They also discussed a range of multilateral issues, including reform of the UN including the Security Council and the G8 Summit.

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