Boris Johnson to arrive in India on two-day visit from April 21
DECCAN CHRONICLE | dc correspondent
New Delhi: The stage is set for the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to India next week. In the wake of the Ukraine conflict the upcoming visit is ‘significant’ and will mark the next top-level in-person engagement between India and the West. This follows the recent visit of the British secretary of state for foreign affairs (foreign minister) Elizabeth Truss to New Delhi. The forthcoming visit of Mr Johnson is expected to be officially announced soon and according to some reports, is slated to take place on April 21 and 22.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a "detailed discussion" on the phone with his British counterpart Mr Johnson on the Ukraine conflict. PM Modi said India believed in international law and the territorial integrity of all nations as the basis of the world order. However, Britain had then issued its version of the conversation separately in a statement from London, in which it said both leaders agreed that "Ukraine’s integrity and territorial sovereignty must be respected" and that "Russia needed to adhere to the UN Charter."
India has not publicly criticised Russia, but has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and dialogue between the warring sides to resolve the issue. The West though, wants India to take a strong stand against Russia publicly which New Delhi is reluctant to do because of its time-tested ties with Moscow.
The two prime ministers had also discussed issues of bilateral interests and agreed on the potential of further deepening cooperation in various areas including trade, technology, investments, defence & security and people-to-people relations.
PM Modi had also then expressed his satisfaction at the positive momentum in the ongoing negotiations on the bilateral Free Trade Agreement. He had also appreciated the progress in implementing the 'India-UK Roadmap 2030' adopted during the virtual summit between both leaders last year. Ties between India and its former colonial master are currently at its closest-ever in the past 75 years of India's independence.