NEW DELHI, MARCH 16
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India at the end of April, his first major international tour after London’s exit from the EU.
The announcement from London came after the minister for South Asia Tariq Ahmad wrapped up his visits where which included interactions with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. During his meeting with Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy, Ahmad is learnt to have raised the detention of Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, whose prolonged incarceration has been flagged by the UN Working Group on Aribtrary Detentions. The visit is understood to have cleared the decks for an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) to be inked during Johnson’s visit. The ETP could serve as a precursor to a free trade agreement (FTA).
The PM was to be the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade but had to put off his visit due to Covid surge in the UK. Since then London has wrapped up the integrated review of defence, security, development and foreign policy. A key takeaway is the accent on the Indo-Pacific region, which includes the
UK applying for partner status of the ASEAN economic union. — TNS