Cold turkey would hardly have been a sensible way for the UK to withdraw aid from India. There are too many DfID programmes on the ground that still need British support, reflecting the fact that the UK (the last time I checked) had a near 30 per cent share of all bilateral foreign aid to the country. Read more
How does the world look from Westminster? Foreign policy is woefully under-scrutinised in the UK, where governments can wage war and sign treaties without reference to parliament, and the limited attention it does receive could arguably be better directed. Read more
Here the FT’s South Asia bureau chief discusses the UK’s aid policy in India. What do you think David Cameron’s government should do? Join the debate in the comments section. Read more
David Cameron took the biggest delegation to India since the Raj in an attempt to revitalise relations. But, impressive as it was by UK standards, the trip has clearly not provided much of an aide-mémoire for Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister.
Here is a telling dispatch from James Lamont, the FT’s man in New Delhi: Read more
The Commonwealth Games are in crisis and New Delhi wants to know where its friends are. If he wants to show real commitment to the “new special relationship” with India, David Cameron must make sure the English athletics squad turns up all present and correct, with big smiles on their faces. The Scottish team has already announced that it is delaying the departure of its 41 squad members, citing ongoing health and security fears over conditions in the athletes’ village. Now the Welsh have raised the stakes, giving the Delhi organising committee until five o’clock British time this afternoon to provide reassurances – saying that otherwise they might not travel. English officials have said the situation is “on a knife-edge”. Read more
You might have thought that David Cameron would be steering clear of foreign policy gaffes after his “news-rich” visit to Turkey and India*.
But he has just been accused by Labour of making a new blunder by mistakenly claiming that Iran has a nuclear weapon (at least, we are still assuming he’s wrong) during a PM Direct meeting.
The prime minister was asked why he was backing Turkey to join the EU and said it could help solve the world’s problems….”like the Middle East peace process, like the fact that Iran has got a nuclear weapon”.
Chris Bryant, shadow Europe minister, said Mr Cameron was becoming a “foreign policy klutz”.
“This is less of a hiccup, more of a dangerous habit,” he said. “Considering Iran’s nuclear ambitions constitute one of the most important foreign policy challenges facing us all, it is not just downright embarrassing that the prime minister has made this basic mistake, it’s dangerous.”