Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Jaishankar and Cameron Advance Talks on India-UK Free Trade Agreement

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During his current visit to the UK, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held discussions with his British counterpart, David Cameron, focusing on advancing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and fostering partnerships in defense, science, and technology. In their Monday meeting, the leaders also underscored the robustness of the UK-India relationship, aligning with the aspirations outlined in the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, as highlighted by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office.

The discussions encompassed shared global challenges, including the situations in Israel and Gaza, as well as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The leaders emphasized the significance of the Indo-Pacific region for global growth and prosperity, acknowledging its pivotal role in shaping geopolitical dynamics.

India and the UK initiated FTA negotiations in 2022, with the 12th round of talks occurring from August 8 to 31 this year. The comprehensive India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, launched in 2021 alongside the India-UK Roadmap 2030, reinforces the commitment to a partnership that benefits both nations.

Expressing congratulations on David Cameron’s appointment as UK Foreign Secretary, Jaishankar expressed eagerness to collaborate closely with him. The leaders engaged in a detailed discussion aimed at realizing the full potential of the strategic partnership, exchanging views on key geopolitical issues such as the situations in West Asia, the Ukraine conflict, and developments in the Indo-Pacific region.

In a recent cabinet reshuffle by UK PM Rishi Sunak, former Prime Minister David Cameron assumed the role of UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs. Jaishankar, on his five-day visit to the UK, conveyed Diwali wishes to Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, at 10 Downing Street. During the visit, Jaishankar, accompanied by his wife Kyoko Jaishankar, met with the UK PM and presented him with a Lord Ganesha statue and a cricket bat signed by Indian batting legend Virat Kohli.

Reflecting on the meeting, Jaishankar shared his sentiments on social media, stating, “A pleasure to meet UK Foreign Secretary @David_Cameron this afternoon on his first day in office. Congratulated him on his appointment. Held a detailed discussion on realizing the full potential of our strategic partnership. Also exchanged views on the situation in West Asia, the Ukraine conflict, and the Indo-Pacific. Look forward to working with him closely.”

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