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India-UK Ties Get Fresh Impetus with Jaishankar’s Visit

The visit also unfolded against the backdrop of significant strides in the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the ambitious Roadmap 2030.

In a diplomatic stride that reverberated with historical resonance, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar concluded his recent visit to the United Kingdom, solidifying the enduring ties between the two nations.

The visit not only provided a fresh impetus to bilateral cooperation but also unfolded against the backdrop of significant strides in the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the ambitious Roadmap 2030.

“External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recent visit to the United Kingdom further consolidated the long-standing historical ties between the two countries and provided a new impetus to bilateral cooperation in diverse areas against the backdrop of progress on the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and Roadmap 2030,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a release.

Jaishankar paid an official visit to the United Kingdom from November 11-15. The EAM called on UK PM Rishi Sunak, and held talks with his new counterpart, Foreign Secretary David Cameron. He also met Secretary of State for Home, James Cleverly; Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps; and National Security Adviser, Tim Barrow.

In his meeting with the Prime Minister, EAM extended Diwali greetings and conveyed best wishes on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Sunak and EAM expressed satisfaction at positive momentum in enhancing the India-UK relationship as an important factor in addressing contemporary challenges. They also reviewed implementation of Roadmap 2030 and discussed ongoing negotiations for a India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the MEA’s release added.

EAM met Foreign Secretary Cameron on his first day in office and congratulated him on his appointment. They discussed avenues to realise the full potential of India-UK partnership in avenues ranging from cooperation in political, economic and trade, defence and security, science and technology, innovation, health, education, people-to-people connections and mobility. They also exchanged views on important global developments including the Indo-Pacific, the situation in West Asia, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it also said.

With Home Secretary Cleverly, EAM discussed the importance of mobility in skills and talent in the development of bilateral cooperation, and exchanged views on addressing extremism, trans-border crimes including economic offences and trafficking.

In EAM’s meeting with Defence Secretary Shapps, they focused on enhancing defence and security cooperation, recognizing that ‘Make in India’ offers a wealth of opportunities to UK companies for potential industrial partnerships. EAM and NSA Tim Barrow discussed recent developments including in West Asia, Indo-Pacific and Russia-Ukraine. They underscored the need for close collaboration on combating violent extremism and radicalism and agreed to deepen and expand dialogue on these and other shared concerns.

The EAM also met the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer, Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, along with Shadow Minister of State for Asia & the Pacific, Catherine West.

Jaishankar addressed the Indian diaspora at a Diwali Reception at Westminster Palace, in which Minister of State Lord Tariq Ahmad also offered greetings on behalf of His Majesty’s Government. EAM also visited the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple at Neasden. He also unveiled two 8th Century Yogini sculptures from a temple in the village of Lokhari in Uttar Pradesh, which have been recovered in the UK and will shortly be sent back to India.

Meeting with former UK PM Tony Blair

During the visit, EAM also participated in a conversation on ‘How a Billion People See the World’at a Policy Event held in partnership with Wilton Park and the Royal Overseas League. The event, moderated by the eminent political commentator Lionel Barber, was attended by parliamentarians, diplomats, journalists, academicians and business leaders.

India-UK FTA discussed

Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi has said the India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was discussed during (EAM) Jaishankar’s meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on his recent visit to the country.

“The EAM discussed the FTA with the UK PM and the newly sworn-in foreign secretary. There are discussions going on. But if you want to know the exact status of negotiations, I would refer you to the trade negotiators,” Bagchi said while speaking on the India-UK FTA during the MEA Weekly Media Briefing on Thursday.

The MEA spokesperson further said: “Both India and UK are engaged on this important issue to see if we can find, a solution or reach a final stage…”

EAM Jaishankar on his recent five-day visit to the UK, met with his British counterpart David Cameron and discussed progressing a Free Trade Agreement and partnerships on defence, science and technology.

During the meeting on Monday, the two leaders reflected on the strength of the UK-India relationship, including meeting the ambition of the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, according to the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Jaishankar meets with UK Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer

“The Foreign Secretary and Jaishankar also discussed progressing a free trade agreement and partnerships on defence, science and technology,” it said.

The duo also discussed shared global challenges, including the situation in Israel and Gaza and the war between Russia and Ukraine. (ANI)

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