PM Modi invites UK PM Johnson as Republic Day chief guest
PM Modi invites UK PM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended a formal invitation to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be the chief guest at the 2021 Republic Day celebrations in India.
As per media reports, the two leaders held a telephonic conversation on November 27 when PM Modi invited the UK Prime Minister to be the Republic Day chief guest in January 2021. On his part, Boris Johnson invited PM Modi to the G7 summit taking place in the UK next year.
However, whether the UK Prime Minister has accepted the invitation or not is yet to be confirmed.
This development has come at a time when both India and UK governments are struggling to contain the surging cases of Coronavirus cases in their respective countries. At the same time, the UK is looking forward to finalising a Brexit trade deal before the transition period ends in January. Furthermore, Boris Johnson is witnessing changing dynamics between the UK and US after the victory of democrat candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 US Presidential elections.
After their conversation on November 27, PM Modi took to Twitter and stated that the two leaders had an excellent discussion on an ambitious road-map for India-UK ties in the coming decade.
Modi and Johnson also agreed on working together towards a quantum leap to cooperate in key areas of defence and security, trade and investments, climate change and fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
UK PM Johnson also reportedly offered a free trade agreement with India along with ensuring strengthening cooperation on issues of climate change and environmental development.
Replying to PM Modi’s tweet, UK PM Johnson affirmed that he is looking forward to “deepening and strengthening the UK-India relationship in 2021 and beyond.”
Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had said that both Brexit and COVID-19 pandemic are game-changers that will define the course of future economic and political energies between India and the UK.
For India, it is crucial to bolster ties with London, noting that the UK is part of UN P5 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council).
Meanwhile, amid the ongoing global efforts to combat COVID-19, Boris Johnson on Wednesday approved Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for mass immunization across the UK. He also said that the crucial mass inoculation programme will begin in the country next week.
Significantly, India and the UK are in the final stages of signing a military logistics agreement which will allow both militaries to share services and supplies, including facilities and resources, in addition to more frequent joint exercises as well as greater and smoother exchanges.