PM Johnson to visit India by the end of April

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The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson wishes to visit India as the UK seeks to strengthen ties between both countries. This comes amid London’s Indo-Pacific leaning, and the two sides are negotiating a free trade agreement.

Indian PM Narendra Modi and British PM Boris Johnson are supposed to conduct the meeting in Delhi by the fourth week of the month, and both PMs met last year in November on the sidelines of the Glasgow climate summit.

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Last year, PM Johnson twice cancelled the India visit. The first one was to conduct in January when he was expected to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day, but due to the covid crisis in India, it could not occur, and then in April, when India was in the midst of a pandemic wave.

When the UK was leading the G7 last year, it invited PM Modi as a guest, but it could also not happen as the country was battling the COVID- 19 pandemic.

May 2021 witnessed a virtual summit between the two leaders who decided on a 2030 road-map. The road-map structure is a framework for UK-India relations across the health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defense.

The two countries also agreed to elevate the status of the relationship to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.’ With trade pact talks underway, one of the key outcomes of the virtual summit is to double trade by 2030. Trade between the UK and India is worth around £23 billion a year.

Just last month, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was in Delhi as part of a “wider diplomatic push” amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This was her second visit to the country as Foreign Secretary, following one in October, and her third as Secretary of State in 13 months.

As part of its Indo-Pacific Tilt Post-Brexit strategy, the United Kingdom will join India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and become a lead partner on maritime security issues, coordinating work with key Southeast Asian partners.

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