Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014

Top UK ministers on two-day visit to hold talks with Modi government

hauge-and-osborne_m Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (L) and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs William Hague (R) (Source: Reuters)
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: July 5, 2014 7:06 pm

Two top British ministers-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs William Hague and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne- will arrive on a two-day visit to India from Monday to hold talks with new leadership here on key areas including trade and defence.

Announcing the visit, External Affairs Ministry today said, “The joint visit of the delegation will provide an opportunity for both sides to work towards further strengthening the Indo-UK strategic partnership.”

The UK Foreign Secretary will hold delegation level talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on July 8 and they will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, the MEA said in a release.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will hold Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) with Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, it added.

Both the British ministers will make a joint call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ministry said.

During the visit, ways to enhance trade and investment and deepening of defence and security ties are expected to be discussed comprehensively.

UK observed a diplomatic boycott of Modi for nearly a decade after 2002 riots in Gujarat. The boycott was ended nearly a-year-and-a-half ago when British High Commissioner James Bevan called on Modi, then Gujarat Chief Minister, in Ahmedabad in 2012.

Hague and Osborne will be accompanied by an official delegation which would include three other UK ministers – Gregory Barker MP, Minister for Business Engagement with India and Minister of State for Climate Change and Energy; Oliver Letwin, Minister for Government Policy in the Cabinet Office and Joseph Edmund Johnson, Cabinet Office Minister.

“India and the UK have a strategic partnership since 2004 which has been marked by regular high level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse areas,” the MEA said.

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