London: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured his British counterpart Theresa May that the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union offers opportunities to further increase bilateral trade ties as the two leaders had fruitful discussions on multiple aspects of India-UK relations and issues like counter-terrorism, radicalisation and online extremism.
PM Modi, who arrived at 10 Downing Street for a breakfast meeting, was greeted with the customary handshake by May. “Very welcome to London, Prime Minister,” May said as she greeted PM Modi.
Both leaders discussed ways to boost cooperation between India and UK.
“Wonderful meeting with Prime Minister @theresa_may at 10, Downing Street. We had fruitful discussions on multiple aspects of India-UK relations,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted after the meeting.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the two leaders had wide-ranging talks on redefining and infusing new energy into the bilateral engagement post-Brexit.
Brexit refers to the UK’s decision in a June 23, 2016 referendum to leave the 28-nation European Union or EU.
A statement issued by 10 Downing Street after the meeting said that the Syria air strikes, counter-terrorism, radicalisation and online extremism were among some of the key topics covered by both leaders.
“Prime Minister Modi said there would be no dilution in the importance of the UK to India post-Brexit. He said the City of London was of great importance to India for accessing the global markets and would remain so,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.
“The Prime Minister (May) updated Prime Minister Modi on the progress of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, saying the implementation period agreed in March gives Indian companies and investors the confidence that market access will continue on current terms until the end of 2020,” the spokesperson said.
May reiterated the UK’s position on Russia’s recent “destabilising behaviour”, underlined by the attack in Salisbury on former Russian double Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and the protection provided for the Syrian regime’s repeated use of chemical weapons against its people.
“They reflected on the progress made on bilateral defence and security cooperation since the Prime Minister’s visit to India in 2016 and the agreement to a number of Defence Capability Partnerships in key strategic areas, with closer military-to-military ties underpinned by a succession of high level visits and exchanges,” Downing Street said.
During a discussion on cooperation between the two countries on legal matters, which is likely to have covered extradition matters, May also welcomed the return to the UK of the “Chennai Six”, the former British soldiers accused of piracy who were freed from an Indian jail last year.
The two leaders said trade between the UK and India had grown strongly over the last year and agreed to build on the recommendations of the UK-India joint trade review to reduce barriers to trade, to make it easier to do business in both countries and enable a stronger bilateral trade relationship for the future.
Both prime ministers discussed a new UK-India Tech Partnership, which will create thousands of jobs and generate significant investment in both our economies.
Looking ahead at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting or CHOGM tomorrow, they also agreed on the importance of working together to build a more “sustainable, prosperous, secure and fairer future” for all Commonwealth citizens.
After his meeting with the British Prime Minister, PM Modi visited the Science Museum to explore the ‘5000 Years of Science and Innovation’ exhibition and interact with Indian-origin and other scientists and innovators based in the UK.
The event, hosted by Prince Charles, included the launch of a new Ayurvedic Centre of Excellence, aimed at creating a first-of-its-kind global network for evidence-based research on yoga and Ayurveda.
“The Prince and @narendramodi watch a performance by the Akademi South Asian dance group at the @sciencemuseum,” Clarence House tweeted.
PM Modi had landed in Britain from Stockholm overnight for bilateral engagements as well as multilateral discussions as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting or CHOGM.https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-modi-theresa-may-discuss-infusing-new-energy-in-post-brexit-bilateral-ties-1839408