Britain PM Boris Johnson Photograph:( Reuters )
The visit has been in the making for a long time
In his first foreign visit since the Brexit, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be visiting India on April 26. He announced the visit in the British Parliament.
"I am delighted to announce that I will visit India next month to strengthen our friendship with the world's biggest democracy," he said.
It is expected that Johnson will visit Pune as well. No details are yet known about his schedule in Pune. World's largest vaccine manufacture Serum Institute of India (SII) is based in Pune. SII has been manufacturing Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine Covishield. It has been exported to many countries.
The visit has been in the making for a long time, with Boris Johnson was expected to visit India in January for Indian Republic Day but could not due to outbreak of new strain of COVID in UK.
Johnson's visit comes as UK releases its key foreign policy document that sees India as key to London's "Indo-Pacific tilt". The just-released "Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy" mentioned India over 15 times, calling India an "international actor of growing importance."
The document said, "The UK-India relationship is already strong, but over the next ten years we seek transformation in our cooperation across the full range of our shared interests. India – as the largest democracy in the world".
UK as the chair of G7 grouping, has invited India for the meeting of the grouping in June. Indian PM Modi will be travelling to the country for the summit, which could see its first in-person Quad meeting as well. Both sides are also working on a trade deal.