British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly arrived in Mumbai on Friday on his official maiden trip to India to meet and discuss with External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar ways to further strengthen diplomatic ties.
“Fantastic to be in India. Looking forward to deepening UK-India partnership as we work towards our 2030 Roadmap, building our trade links and strengthening security,” Cleverly tweeted.
He will travel to New Delhi on Saturday, Britain’s foreign office said on Thursday.
In Mumbai, he will attend the UN counter-terror meeting and pay respect to the 26/11 attack victims.
India is hosting a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in Mumbai and Delhi on October 28 and 29 respectively on the theme of ‘Countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes’ with some UNSC members, including the UK, being represented at the level of foreign ministers.
The foreign secretary’s visit comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Rishi Sunak spoke over the phone and discussed several issues, the Foreign Trade Agreement being the primary issue.
The Indian Prime Minister congratulated his British counterpart over the phone. “Glad to speak to Rishi Sunak today. Congratulated him on assuming charge as UK PM. Congratulated him on assuming charge as UK PM. We will work together to further strengthen our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. We also agreed on the importance of early conclusion of a comprehensive and balanced FTA,” Modi tweeted.
Sunak on his part thanked the India Prime Minister for the call. “Thank you Prime Minister for your kind words as I get started in my new role. The UK and India share so much. I’m excited about what our two great democracies can achieve as we deepen our security, defence and economic partnership in the months & years ahead.”
Sunak is the first Hindu and Indian-origin leader to become the Prime Minister of the UK.