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Cameron assures help in chopper probe

Posted on Feb 19, 04:34PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 19 : British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday assured Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cooperation in the AugustaWestland chopper scandal.

Both Singh and Cameron discussed the issue during their meeting here on Tuesday, they said in a joint press briefing.

The Indian PM said he conveyed to Prime Minister Cameron the very serious concerns regarding allegations about unethical means used in securing the 2010 contract for Agusta Westland helicopters.

"I told him that we have sought an explanation from the company by February 22 to examine if the contractual provisions on unethical practices and the Integrity Pact have been violated. I have sought full assistance from the U.K. in this case. Prime Minister Cameron has assured me of the cooperation of his Government in the investigations," said Singh.

David Cameron, who is visiting India, earlier on Monday said he will ensure that UK-based AugustaWestland continues to retain its reputation.

This is Cameron's second trip to India which comes in when the nation is caught up in the alleged scam involving kickbacks in the Rs 3600 crore purchase deal of VVIP choppers from UK based AugustaWestland, the Anglo-Italian helicopter company owned by Italy's Finmeccanica.

"The owner of AugustaWestland is an Italian company Finmeccanica. This is an issue between the Indian authorities and the Italian authorities to settle. My interest is just to make sure AugustaWestland, which is a good company, the best company in England...(who) makes good helicopters, continue to have a good name," he told NDTV.