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Jaishankar, Raab to draw up 10 year roadmap for quantum jump in Indo-UK relations


New Delhi, Dec 15: British foreign and commonwealth secretary, Dominic Raab will begin a two day and will hold talks with India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar.

The focus would be extensively on bilateral trade and security. Raab and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will review the progress made in the effort to draw up a 10-year roadmap for a quantum jump in the relationship between India and the UK.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with his British counterpart Dominic Raab

Officials familiar with the developments tell OneIndia that the visit by Raab would also be a precursor of the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson's visit to New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 27 invited Johnson to visit India and be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade.

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Johnson on his part invited PM Modi to the G-7 summit in the United Kingdom, officials told OneIndia. The move by the PM to invite his UK counterpart is strategically important for ties between the two nations. With Brexit and UK's uneasy relationship with the US under the incoming Joe Biden administration, the move by PM Modi is important for ties between India and the United Kingdom.

Officials say that the engagement is important as London is part of P-5. Further, the UK also has a powerful political lobby from Mirpur in Pakistan occupied Kashmir which often takes up issues like Jammu and Kashmir, the official further added.

The formal announcement in this regard would be made once 10 Downing Street accepts the invitation formally. PM Modi and Johnson spoke to each other over phone and reviewed bilateral cooperation in the area of development and manufacturing of the COVID-19 vaccines. They reiterated and shared desire to impart a quantum jump to the India-UK partnership in the post-COVID-19, post-Brexit era and agreed that there is tremendous potential for enhancing collaboration in trade and investment, scientific research, mobility of professionals and students, and defence and security, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

PM Modi had said in a tweet, 'we agreed to work towards a quantum leap in our cooperation in all areas-trade and investments, defence and security, climate change and fighting COVID-19.'

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    The PM also said that he had an excellent discussion with his friend UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on an ambitious road map for India-UK ties in the next decade.

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