Boris Johnson accepts India's invite to be R-Day chief guest
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted India's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January next year. After talks with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that the UK PM has accepted India's invite, describing it as a "great honor." India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day on January 26, 2021.
'Johnson has accepted very generous invitation to attend R-Day celebrations'
Raab announced on Tuesday, "I am pleased that PM Boris Johnson has invited PM Narendra Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year." Raab added, "PM Johnson has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India's Republic Day celebrations in January, which is a great honor." Johnson would be the second UK PM to attend the event after John Major in 1993.
'Johnson's visit as R-Day chief guest symbolic of new era'
Jaishankar said, "The presence of PM Boris Johnson as the chief guest at Republic Day 2021 would be in a way symbolic of a new era, a new phase of our relationship." Jaishankar and Raab had held wide-ranging bilateral talks earlier in the day.
India-UK talks focused boosting bilateral ties in post-COVID, post-Brexit context
Tuesday's talks were expected to focus on a 10-year roadmap to boost India-UK bilateral ties. The Ministry of External Affairs had said on Monday that Raab's visit will pave the way for strengthening the India-UK partnership across trade, defense, climate, migration and mobility, education, and health sectors in the post-COVID, post-Brexit context. The UK will stop following the EU trading rules after December 31.
'UK-India to build stronger defense partnership to tackle terrorism'
Raab said, "We look forward to taking the spot in 2021 including the UK's presidency of G7 and also our presidency of UN Climate Change Conference. We welcome India's return to UN Security Council." He said the UK wants to build a stronger defense and security partnership with India to "tackle shared issues related to terrorism, maritime security including piracy in Western Indian Ocean."
Focus on how to take ties to higher level: Jaishankar
Jaishankar said, "The focus has been on how to take our ties to a higher level" across five broad themes of "connecting people, trade and prosperity, defense and security, climate change, and health." "India has its vision for the Indo-Pacific. It is a matter of satisfaction that there is today a growing recognition and acceptance of the idea of Indo-Pacific," he added.
UK Foreign Secretary on three-day India visit
Raab is on a three-day visit to India from December 14-17. He is scheduled to meet Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. He will also travel to Bengaluru and meet Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday.