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EAM, UK Foreign Secretary hold talks on trade, defence, climate change, Afghanistan
New Delhi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and visiting UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Friday held talks on enhancing cooperation in trade and investments, climate change, defence and security and agreed to strengthen cooperation in West Asia and the Indo-Pacific, and on countering terrorism and radical extremism.

The two Ministers undertook a detailed review of the Roadmap 2030 launched during the India-UK Virtual Summit held on May 4, 2021.

The two sides also agreed on addressing emerging challenges in the cyber and space domains.

On Afghanistan, the two sides discussed the need for full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance, as also the need for Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist attacks, an official statement said.

They appreciated the progress on the implementation of the Roadmap 2030 despite the constraints posed by the pandemic.

They had detailed discussions focused on enhancing cooperation in the key priority areas of trade and investments, people-to-people relationship, health partnership, climate change, science and innovation and defence and security. They also discussed a number of regional and international issues of mutual interest while sharing their commitment to a multi-polar world and multilateralism.

Both Ministers welcomed the progress in delivering the Enhanced Trade Partnership announced at the Virtual Summit and underlined the need for launching Free Trade Agreement negotiations at the earliest, with a focus on negotiating an interim agreement that can deliver quick gains to businesses in both India and the UK.

Both Ministers also discussed the Migration and Mobility Partnership and the Global Innovation Partnership and committed to their early implementation.

They also acknowledged the establishment of new dialogue mechanisms for discussing consular issues and maritime security. Both sides also agreed on instituting the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum Track, a new 1.5 Dialogue mechanism to foster expert deliberations on long-term strategic links between the two countries, the statement said.

In a tweet, the EAM said: “Glad to welcome UK Foreign Secretary @trussliz

to Delhi. Just completed a comprehensive review of our relationship.

“Roadmap 2030 is progressing well. The pillars on Trade and Prosperity, People to People relationship, Defence and Security, Climate & Health are all moving forward.”

In his opening remarks, the EAM said the meeting is “very useful because it gives us a chance to review the progress on the roadmap 2030 that was agreed to between our prime ministers”.

“We have significant movement on a number of pillars including one of the pillars you dealt with in your previous capacity, the trade one,” he said, referring to her previous assignment as UK International Trade Secretary.

Jaishankar said: “I think there have also been a number of geo-political and political developments in our region, closer to your region, some concerning our activities, some dealing with you. And then there is the larger issue of how we cope with the Covid-19, the health, the political, the economic consequences of that.”

Truss had met the EAM on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 21, just days after her appointment, replacing Dominic Raab.

She also met the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav.

She will be visiting Mumbai tomorrow where she will participate in business and defence engagements held in connection with the visit of Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) to India.

She would also pay her respects at the memorial to honour the victims of the terrorist attack in Mumbai on 26 November, 2008.

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