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Saturday, 12 October, 2002, 21:01 GMT 22:01 UK
Broad agenda at India-UK talks
Atal Behari Vajpayee and Tony Blair
Mr Vajpayee and Mr Blair met at Chequers
Tony Blair and his Indian counterpart Atal Behari Vajpayee have held over an hour of talks at the British prime minister's country residence, Chequers.

During what a Downing Street spokesman said were "wide-ranging discussions", Mr Blair congratulated Mr Vajpayee for his "critical" role in ensuring recent elections in the disputed territory of Kashmir were free and fair.

The results have renewed hopes for peace, with the country's People's Democratic Party in talks with the main opposition Congress Party on setting up a likely coalition government.

The talks between the two leaders covered international and bilateral issues, including the Iraqi crisis, next steps in the region and the relationship between India and Pakistan.

'Exchange of views'

Mr Blair also stressed Britain's support for the proposal that India should become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

And both leaders talked of the importance of deepening bilateral relations.

Specifically, they discussed the joint commitment of the UK's business organisation, the CBI, and its Indian equivalent, the CII, to double Anglo-Indian trade to 10bn by 2007.

On Iraq, the spokesman said the two men had an "exchange of views", with Mr Vajpayee noting the British position.

Mr Vajpayee's visit to Britain marks the end of a tour that has taken him to Cyprus and to Copenhagen for an India-EU summit.

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07 Jan 02 | South Asia
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