Wednesday 5 May 2021 8:23 PM UTC
LONDON May 5: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday declared a new era in UK-India relations following a virtual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which culminated in the two leaders agreeing on a ‘2030 Roadmap’ as a framework for strengthening ties across health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.
Downing Street said the two Prime Ministers have pledged to achieve a “quantum leap” in the UK-India relationship and that India has elevated the status of its relationship with the UK to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” – the first European country to be granted that status.
An Enhanced Trade Partnership, which had been announced earlier, was reiterated as a starting point to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in future, with an ambition for bilateral trade to be doubled over the next decade.
“The agreements we have made today mark the beginning of a new era in the UK-India relationship,” Johnson said.
“The UK and India share many fundamental values. The UK is one of the oldest democracies, and India is the world’s largest. We are both committed members of the Commonwealth. And there is a living bridge uniting the people of our countries,” he said.
“In the last week the British people have stepped up in their thousands to support our Indian friends during this terrible time in a demonstration of the deep connection between the UK and India. This connection will only grow over the next decade as we do more together to tackle the world’s biggest problems and make life better for our people,” Johnson added.
The ‘2030 Roadmap’, to be published in full by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and agreed between the two sides, includes plans to expand the UK-India health partnership to enhance global health security and pandemic resilience. – PTI
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