Rishi: I m A visual representation of UK-India links

Times news network

                                  As India and the UK look to iron out differences over the proposed free trade agreement (FTA), pm Modi on Thursday said he and his new counterpart, Rishi Sunak, have agreed on the importance of an early conclusion of a “comprehensive and balanced” trade agreement.

                                In a phone conversation, Modi congratulated the Tory leader on assuming the office of UK pm. “glad to speak to Rishi Sunak today. Congratulated him on assuming charge as UK pm. We will work together to further strategic our compressive strategic partnership. We also agreed on the importance of an early conclusion of a comprehensive and balanced of a comprehensive and balanced FTA,” he tweeted later.

PM Modi and PM Rishi Sunak Tweet

                             Sunak thanked Modi for his tweet, saying “India and UK share so much”.

According to UK readout, Sunak said he was a  “Visual representation” of the historic links between the UK and India and intended to build on this relationship to develop ever closer ties. Discussing shared global challenges, heal – so praised Modi’s leadership on tackling change.

“I’m excited about what our two great democracies can achieve as we deepen our security, defense and economic partbership in the months and years ahead,” Sunak tweeted.

The conversation between the two PMs took place a day ahead UK foreign secretary James Cleverly’s arrive in India for the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee special meeting and for a bilateral with his counterpart, S Jaishankar.  

 UK foreign secretary James Cleverly and Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar are expected to discuss the latest on the ‘2030 Roadmap’ – a commitment to boost cooperation between UK and India over the next decade under a ‘ comprehensive strategic partnership’.

“Since it was launched last year, huge progress has been made including the start of ambitious free trade negotiations, the expansion of our defense and security    partnership, including through a visit to India last year by HMS Queen Elizabeth and Carrier Strike Group (CSG), and joint exercises to enhance cyber security collaboration,” said the British high commission in New Delhi.

“Our relationship with India is hugely important to me, As the world’s Largest democracy, India is a natural partner for the UK in the Indo-Pacific. It is an economic and tech powerhouse, Our deeper ties will boost our economic and help to tackle global security challenges,” said Cleverly, ahead of his arrival to India.

India and Britain launched negotiation for the free trade agreement (FTA) in January with an aim to conclude talks by Diwali but the deadline was missed due to a lack of consensus on issues. The India-UK free trade deal is likely to get much needed impetus with Sunak moving into 10 Downing Street as experts see political stability in the UK giving momentum to negotiation. The total trade between India and UK stood at $17.5 billion in 2021-22. 

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