British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to India next weekend to meet his counterpart Narendra Modi and hold trade and strategic talks, the British government said on Saturday.
“At a time when our peace and prosperity is threatened by autocratic states, it is important that democracy and friends stand together,” Boris Johnson said in a statement.
“India, the world’s largest economic power and largest democracy, is a very important strategic partner for Britain in these uncertain times,” he said.
Johnson’s visit will focus on “what matters” to the populations of both countries, “from job creation and economic growth to energy security and defence.”
The UK and India have very different perspectives on the situation in Ukraine. While London extends economic sanctions against Russia and supports Kyiv by sending weapons, the Modi government has not openly condemned the Russian invasion of the United Nations.
For India, Russia is a “great friend” and “an important pillar” of its foreign policy, as it is a strategic partner for its national security.
According to the British Prime Minister’s Office, on April 22, Johnson and Modi will hold “in-depth discussions” on “strategic defence” and “diplomatic and economic unions” in the capital New Delhi.
Downing Street said the talks aimed to “strengthen our close cooperation and intensify cooperation on security matters in the Indo-Pacific region”.
After Brexit, the Indo-Pacific became a priority for British diplomacy. In this regard, Johnson will also try to take forward the talks to start a free trade agreement with India.
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