Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 14
In the run up to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s expected presence at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, UK Foreign Secretary Raab is on a four-day visit to India from Monday.
He will hold talks with Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar on Tuesday on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, said an MEA news release.
His visit comes at a time when 36 cross-party UK MPs, led by Labour Party’s Tanmanjit Singh Dhesi, have come out in support of the ongoing farmers’ agitation in India, asking Raab to raise the matter with New Delhi.
The MEA had sought increased security for its High Commission in London and Consulate in Birmingham. MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said later that South Block was satisfied with the arrangements by the police. According to sources, elements demanding “Khalistan” have “popped up” at rallies but a stand-alone call to shut down the High Commission in London found no takers while its call for a rally before the Indian Consulate in London attracted some people.
However, both sides are looking at the larger picture in the post-Covid, post-Brexit scenario. Raab’s visit will pave the way for further strengthening of the partnership across trade, defence, climate, migration and mobility, education and health sectors in the post-Covid, post-Brexit context, said the MEA.
He will also have official meetings with Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. As part of the visit, Mr Raab will travel to Bengaluru where he will meet the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Thursday.
India and the United Kingdom upgraded their ties to a strategic partnership in 2004 which has been marked by regular high level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse areas, said the MEA.