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Helicopter scandal risks clouding Cameron visit to India

Published on Feb 16, 2013 11:28 AM

LONDON (AFP) - British Prime Minister David Cameron heads to India next week with an extensive trade delegation for a visit clouded by a corruption scandal over British-built helicopters.

The trip to Delhi and the commercial capital Mumbai comes hot on the heels of a visit to India by French President Francois Hollande to drum up trade, underlining the growing importance of the Indian economy.

Mr Cameron said ahead of the visit that he wanted the relationship between Britain and India to be "one of the great partnerships of the 21st century".

But his second trip to India as prime minister will require deft handling after the Indian government said it was cancelling a US$748 million (S$925 million) deal to buy 12 helicopters for VIPs from an Italian firm amid allegations the contract was won through kickbacks.

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