India PM says sought "full assistance" from UK on chopper probe

NEW DELHI Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:32am GMT

1 of 3. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh during a photo opportunity before their meeting in New Delhi February 19, 2013. Cameron says he wants state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland to speed up restructuring and has refused to rule out giving the government's share in the bank to the public.

Credit: Reuters/B Mathur

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday his government had sought full assistance from the United Kingdom in investigating bribery allegations surrounding an Anglo-Italian helicopter deal.

Singh was speaking alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is on a three-day visit to India to push trade ties amid a corruption row over a $750 million (484 million pounds) deal for a dozen AgustaWestland helicopters.

"I also conveyed to the Prime Minister our very serious concerns regarding allegations about unethical means used in securing the 2010 contract of the AgustaWestland helicopters," Singh said.

"I have sought full assistance from the UK in this case. Prime Minister David Cameron has assured me of the cooperation of his government in the investigation."

Cameron, speaking after Singh, said his government would respond to any request for information about the deal.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn and Nigam Prusty; writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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