Foreign Secy’ London visit aimed to strengthen India-UK bilateral cooperation across multiple fronts

New Delhi , May 18 : Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra paid an official visit to the United Kingdom from May 16-17 for the 16th round of Foreign Office Consultations with Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Ministry of External Affairs informed in a press release.
During the visit, he also held meetings with MOS Foreign Office Lrd Tariq Ahmad,o MOS for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge, NSA Sir Tim Barrow, UK Home Office Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft, Chief Trade Negotiator of the UK Crawford Falconer and Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the UK Prime Minister Professor John Bew, the release added.
Both sides discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and global issues of mutual interest. Foreign Secretary and Permanent Under-Secretary undertook a detailed review of the Roadmap 2030, it also said.
Welcoming good progress across all pillars, they underscored their interest to raise the level of ambition and agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation including in trade and economic, defence and security, science and technology, people-to-people ties and mobility, energy, and climate change, as well as health.
In his meeting with Sir Philip Barton, “they reviewed the progress made on the UK-India 2030 Roadmap since the last dialogue in January 2023 and looked ahead to the next phase of bilateral cooperation,” the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said in a press release earlier.
During the visit, Kwatra also met the UK’s Minister for South Asia Lord Tariq Ahmad and discussed the Free Trade Agreement, migration and the Commonwealth, according to the press release.
Lord Ahmad stated, “We are delighted to host Indian Foreign Secretary Kwatra in London to underline the UK’s commitment to deepening cooperation with India. I look forward to our relationship going from strength to strength, working together on trade, defence, climate, and health.”
In 2021, India and the UK agreed to ambitious plans for the next decade of the bilateral relationship with the ‘2030 Roadmap’ that includes commitments to deepen cooperation on health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.
Notably, the thirteenth round of negotiations for the UK-India Free Trade Agreement was held from September 18 to December 15, 2023, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry press release. The negotiations included sessions both in person, in London and Delhi, and virtual talks.
India and the United Kingdom share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which has been strengthened across all domains through regular high-level political exchanges and meetings of bilateral institutional mechanisms.
It was agreed to hold the next round of Foreign Office Consultations in 2025 in New Delhi, the release added. (Agencies)