Rajnath Singh, UK PM discuss issues related to defence, economic cooperation

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Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday. The two leaders discussed issues related to defence, economic cooperation and how Indi and UK could work together to strengthen a peaceful and stable global rules-based order.

In a post shared on X, Rajnath Singh stated, “Had a very warm meeting with the UK Prime Minister, Shri @rishisunak in London. I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him. We discussed issues pertaining to defence, economic cooperation and how India and UK could work together for strengthening a peaceful and stable global rules-based order.”

Currently, Rajnath Singh is on an official visit to UK. It is the first visit by a sitting Indian Defence Minister to the UK in more than 20 years.

Earlier, Union Defence Minister Singh held “insightful deliberations” with UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron on boosting ties between the two nations.

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.”

Union Defence Minister Rajnath 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 Shapps. The UK and India also vowed to continue strengthening ties during Defence Minister 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.

UK Defence Secretary 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”.

“Collaboration with industry is also key in the strategic defence partnership between the UK and India, with the two nations working together on electric propulsion systems that will power our future fleets and cooperating on the development of complex weapons,” Shapps was quoted as saying further in the release. The UK and India also confirmed several new joint initiatives. (ANI)

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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