Guwahati: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday emphasized on deepening India-Britain cooperation considering the shared interest in keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open, particularly in the face of growing threats of autocratic coercion.
“We’re taking forward an ambitious ten-year roadmap for British-Indian relations that we agreed on last year, it was great to see you (PM Modi) at the G-7,” Johnson said while delivering a joint statement after holding talks with PM Modi here at Hyderabad House.
He further added that since then, the “threat of autocratic coercion has grown even further and it’s therefore vital that we deepen our cooperation including our shared interest in keeping the Indo-Pacific open and free.”
“In challenging times, it is very important that we get closer together. India, certainly the largest democracy is one of the defining friendships of our times,” Johnson said.
Talking about the talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UK Prime Minister said that “We have had wonderful talks today and have strengthened our relationship in every way. The partnership between India and Britain is one of the defining friendships of our time.”
He also lauded India’s vaccination programme and said, “I’ve the Indian jab (COVID-19 vaccine) in my arm, and it did me good. Many thanks to India.”
Johnson noted that the UK is contemplating creating an India-specific open general export licence with reducing bureaucracy and delivery times for defence procurement.
Emphasizing joining hands with India is confronting threats, he said, “We’ve agreed to work together to meet new threats across land, sea, air, space and cyber including partnering on new fighter jet technology, and maritime technologies to detect and respond to threats.”
He also highlighted that India and UK are embarking on joint initiatives on malaria vaccine on antimicrobial resistance, and the digital partnership between the Indian National Health Authority and National Health Service (NHS).
Johnson said that the relationship between the two countries is stronger than ever.He further said that both the countries are also taking big steps together on energy security, helping each other to reduce our dependence on imported hydrocarbons, and adopt cheaper, more sustainable, homegrown alternatives.
The UK PM who is on a two-day visit to India, arrived in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
Ahead of his delegation-level talks today, the British PM was welcomed in a ceremonial reception by PM Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan where he received a Guard of Honour. (ANI)