Boris Johnson set to be chief guest at India’s Republic Day Parade
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day Parade on January 26, UK Foreign Secretary said on Tuesday after his meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Addressing a joint press conference after the talks, Jaishankar said the four-hour long discussion focussed on the process of taking India and the UK’s bilateral ties to the next level.
“In recent years as you know, there have been very big changes in global politics and we both believe that our interests are better served by working together more effectively,” he said.
The situation in Afghanistan as also developments in the Gulf and evolution of the Indo-Pacific region were among the important issues that were further discussed in the meeting.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year. The UK Prime Minister has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India's Republic Day celebrations (as chief guest) in January which is a great honour,” Raab said.
On his part, Jaishankar said Johnson accepting the invitation for the Republic Day was, in a way, symbolic of a new era in Indo-UK ties.
Raab's three-day visit to India from December 14-17 comes at a time the UK is holding complex negotiations with the European Union on reaching a post Brexit trade deal.
In the wake of Brexit, the UK has been looking at ramping up trade with leading economies like India. There have been apprehensions that its separation from the European Union without a trade deal could severely cripple its financial markets and may have long-term implications for its economy.
The British foreign secretary is scheduled to meet Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.
Raab will also travel to Bengaluru where he will meet Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on December 17.