Rajnath Singh, David Cameron appreciate momentum of India-UK partnership

World Thursday 11/January/2024 13:51 PM
Rajnath Singh, David Cameron appreciate momentum of India-UK partnership

London: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who is on a visit to the UK held a meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron on boosting ties between the two nations.

The two leaders appreciated the new momentum and direction of the India-UK partnership, symbolised by intense engagements at various levels.

Singh outlined his goal of integrating defence industries of India and UK, including through supply chain integration to build resilience. He stressed the importance of bilateral start-up level interaction, and identification and discussion of joint projects that India and the UK could implement together.

Taking to X, Rajnath Singh stated, "Insightful deliberations with the UK Foreign Secretary, Mr. David Cameron on boosting India-UK ties and deepening cooperation between both the countries."

Cameron reiterated the UK government's desire to collaborate with India in defence areas. The leaders held the meeting at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

In a press release, the Ministry of Defence said, "Foreign Secretary Cameron reiterated the UK government's desire to collaborate with India in the defence areas, particularly in the field of defence industrial collaboration, as one of the means by which the UK hopes to strengthen the support for a rule-based international order."

Singh, who is currently on a visit to UK, interacted with the Indian community at India House in London. More than 160 prominent persons of Indian origin attended the interaction. A number of Indian military ex-servicemen, including a few family members of second world war veterans were also present.

Earlier, Singh and his UK counterpart Grant Shapps attended the India-UK Defence Industry CEOs Roundtable at Trinity House in London.

Taking to X, Defence Minister's Office stated, "Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh and his British counterpart Mr. @grantshapps attended the India-UK Defence Industry CEOs Roundtable at Trinity House in London."

The UK announced its plans to send its Littoral Response Group to the Indian Ocean Region later this year, with a proposal for the Carrier Strike Group to visit the Indian waters in 2025.Both will operate and train with Indian forces.

The announcement was made by UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps. The UK and India also vowed to continue strengthening ties during the Defence Minister's visit to the country.

In a post shared on X, Rajnath Singh stated, "Had a wonderful interaction with the industry leaders and CEOs at the UK-India Defence CEO Roundtable in London. India envisions an enriching partnership with the UK to cooperate, co-create and co-innovate. By synergizing the strengths of both the countries, we can do great things together."

In a move that signals the growing importance of the strategic relationship between the UK and India, Defence Secretary Shapps welcomed Singh to the UK and the two leaders agreed on unprecedented levels of UK-India defence cooperation, according to an official release.

The two nations also discussed future cooperation in defence from joint exercises to knowledge sharing and instructor exchanges. These steps build on the comprehensive strategic partnership envisaged in the 2030 India-UK roadmap, announced in 2021, it added.

In the coming years, the UK and India will also embark on more complex exercises between their respective militaries, building up to a landmark joint exercise to be conducted before the end of 2030, supporting shared goals of protecting critical trade routes and upholding the international rules-based system, as per the release.

Shapps said, "There is absolutely no question that the world is becoming increasingly contested, so it's vital that we continue to build on our strategic relationships with key partners like India. Together we share the same security challenges and are steadfast on our commitment to maintaining a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific."

He said it is clear that "this relationship is going from strength-to-strength, but we must continue to work hand-in-hand to uphold global security in light of threats and challenges that seek to destabilise and damage us".