Defense and Trade, that is what British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will discuss with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Friday as the former makes a long-delayed trip to India. This will be Johnson’s first major visit to India as prime minister, after previous visits were postponed due to Covid.
In addition to strengthening relations, the UK is trying to persuade India to take a less pro-Moscow stance. Last month, Secretary of State Liz Truss visited India in a bid to get the country to impose tougher sanctions on Russia and cooperate more closely on trade, defense, energy and food security.
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India has never directly criticized Russia since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24 nor has it condemned the invasion during a UN vote on the matter. In addition to Delhi, Johnson will also visit Gujarat, India’s fifth largest state, where he is expected to announce major investment in key industries in the UK and India, as well as new collaborations in science, health and technology.
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“At a time when we face threats to our peace and prosperity from authoritarian nations, it is imperative that democracies and friends unite,” the prime minister said ahead of his visit.
India is a major economic power and the largest democracy in the world. It is a valuable strategic partner for the UK in these turbulent times. My visit to India will lead to issues that truly matter to the people of our two countries – from job creation and economic growth to energy security and defense.”