During his official four-day visit to the UK, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar observed Diwali by participating in prayers at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple) in London. Addressing the media afterward, he emphasized India’s status as the fastest-growing large economy, attributing this growth to effective leadership, vision, and good governance.
Expressing gratitude for the community’s contributions, Jaishankar underscored the role of cultural connections in bilateral relations. The visit to the Neasden Temple included the EAM and his wife, Kyoko Jaishankar, participating in the Abhishek Puja, emphasizing the significance of cultural ties in advancing shared political and economic interests.
Jaishankar conveyed Diwali wishes to the public and highlighted the importance of being with the community during such auspicious occasions. He shared details about his meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, where he conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s best wishes on Diwali. Jaishankar presented gifts, including a Lord Ganesha statue and a cricket bat signed by Indian cricket icon Virat Kohli.
Updating on social media, Jaishankar expressed delight in meeting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, emphasizing the active engagement between India and the UK in reframing their relationship for contemporary times.
The visit, which aims to strengthen the growing bilateral partnership between India and the UK, is part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership initiated in 2021. The MEA highlighted the warm and thriving relationship between the two countries and the ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signaling a commitment to a partnership that benefits both nations. The 12th round of FTA negotiations occurred in August 2022. Jaishankar is scheduled to meet other dignitaries during his visit, which concludes on November 15.