New Delhi, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar held bilateral talks with the visiting UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss on October 22 and held detailed discussions focused on enhancing cooperation in the key priority areas of trade and investments, people-to-people relationship, health partnership, climate change, science & innovation and defence & security.
Both Ministers undertook a detailed review of the Roadmap 2030 launched during the India-UK Virtual Summit held on May 4, and appreciated the progress made so far on the implementation of the Roadmap despite the constraints posed by the pandemic.
Elizabeth Truss (MP), Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and Minister for Women and Equalities, United Kingdom, is on an official visit to India from October 22-24.
Both Ministers welcomed the progress in delivering the Enhanced Trade Partnership announced at the Virtual Summit and underlined the need for launching FTA negotiations at the earliest, with a focus on negotiating an interim agreement that can deliver quick gains to businesses in both India and the UK.
The two leaders also discussed the Migration and Mobility Partnership and the Global Innovation Partnership and committed to their early implementation. They also acknowledged the establishment of new dialogue mechanisms for discussing consular issues and maritime security. Both sides also agreed on instituting the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum Track, a new 1.5 Dialogue mechanism to foster expert deliberations on long-term strategic links between the two countries.
Dr. S Jaishankar and Ms. Truss also discussed a number of regional and international issues of mutual interest while sharing their commitment to a multi-polar world and multilateralism. They agreed to strengthen cooperation in West Asia and the Indo-Pacific, on countering terrorism and radical extremism, and addressing emerging challenges in the cyber and space domains.
On Afghanistan, the need for full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance was discussed, as also the need for Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist attacks.
During her stay in New Delhi, Ms. Truss also met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav. On October 23, she visited Mumbai where she participated in business and defence engagements held in connection with the visit of Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) to India. She would also pay her respects at the memorial to honour the victims of the terrorist attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.