AMID NEGOTIATIONS FOR TRADE DEAL, EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER JAISHANKAR HEADS TO UK
The India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched in 2021 along with the India-UK Roadmap 2030 that seeks to expand ties in a range of areas
NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday embarked on a five-day visit to the United Kingdom.
The visit comes amid negotiations that are underway for the India-UK FTA. There had been talk of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visiting Delhi in October subject to the conclusion of the trade deal. However, it didn’t happen as a few contentious issues haven’t been settled.
“Dr S Jaishankar will be on an official visit to the United Kingdom from November 11-15,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
“India and the U.K. have a growing bilateral partnership. During his visit, the external affairs minister will be holding discussions with his counterpart, Foreign Secretary Sir James Cleverly and will meet several other dignitaries,” it said in a statement.
The MEA also referred to the “warm and thriving” relationship between the two sides.
The India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched in 2021 along with the India-UK Roadmap 2030 that seeks to expand ties in a range of areas.
“The roadmap is a commitment to a partnership that delivers for both the countries. The external affairs minister’s visit will give a new impetus to the friendly ties between the two countries,” the MEA said.
Meanwhile, anti-India protests by pro-Khalistani supporters in the past could also be discussed. It may be recalled that not just was the Indian High Commission in London a target of protests but even the Indian flag was removed and windows broken. Later, the Indian High Commissoner Vikram Doraiswami was prevented from entering a gurudwara in Scotland.
All aspects of bilateral relations between India and the UK would be discussed.
There would be talks on the West Asia conflict too, which began over a month back and has claimed over 10,000 lives. Both India and UK support humanitarian aid but have voiced their protest against the Hamas attack of October 7th.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sent out a Diwali message which said, “Happy Diwali to all those celebrating around the world and across the UK, and a very happy Bandi Chhor Divas to our friends in the Sikh community. As your first British Asian Prime Minister, and a devout Hindu, I also hope this can be a celebration of the fantastic ethnic and cultural diversity which makes the UK the place it is today.”