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Rishi Sunak hopes India-UK FTA negotiations will reach successful conclusion soon India-UK
Photo Courtesy: PIB

Rishi Sunak hopes India-UK FTA negotiations will reach successful conclusion soon

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 11 Jan 2024, 11:25 am

British PM Rishi Sunak on Wednesday met Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh when he expressed hope that the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between India and the UK could be brought to a successful conclusion soon.

The meeting took place at 10 Downing Street in London.

During the meeting, Singh highlighted that both nations have made significant strides in moulding and recrafting the historic ties into a modern, multifaceted and mutually beneficial partnership, under the direction of the leaders of both the countries.

Singh recalled the recent enhancement in bilateral defence engagement, spanning joint exercises, training, capability building, increased interoperability, military-to-military ties, especially in the maritime domain.

He emphasised the ongoing efforts to enhance defence industrial cooperation, including in the technology domain.

He briefed Rishi Sunak about his positive interactions with the UK defence industry and the new positive energy in the bilateral defence relationship.

Singh said that the UK and other like-minded countries should work with India for strengthening a peaceful and stable global rules-based order, including through partnering India in its inexorable rise, which can be strengthened, reinforced and speeded up with friendly collaboration.

Sunak underlined his keenness, and that of his government, to strengthen the defence and security pillar of the bilateral relationship, including through government backing for stronger business and technology partnerships with Indian counterpart entities.

Singh presents a special gift to Sunak

Rajnath Singh gifted a Ram Darbar statue to the UK PM during the meeting, which was also attended by UK NSA Sir Tim Barrow.

Other meetings

During his ongoing visit to the UK, Singh also met with the UK's Foreign Minister Lord David Cameron at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The Ministers appreciated the new momentum and direction of the India-UK partnership, symbolised by intense engagements at various levels.

Rajnath Singh outlined his goal of integrating defence industries of both countries including through supply chain integration to build resilience. He also emphasised the importance of bilateral start-up level interaction, and identification and discussion of joint projects which India and UK could implement together.

Foreign Secretary Cameron reiterated the UK government's desire to collaborate with India in the defence areas, particularly in the field of defence industrial collaboration, as one of the means by which the UK hopes to strengthen the support for a rule-based international order.

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