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India, UK must develop strong bilateral defence ties: Boris Johnson

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday said that both the countries (India and UK) should deepen the security and defence partnership.

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New Delhi: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday said that both the countries (India and UK) should deepen the security and defence partnership.

The British PM made the remarks while visiting the new JCB factory at Halol GIDC Panchmahal where he was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupesh Patel.

Referring to the security and defence partnership between the two countries, Johnson said, “There’s the opportunity for us to deepen our security and defence partnership. As you know, the UK is making an Indo-Pacific tilt in our integrated review of our national defence and security strategy.”

“That’s the right thing to do given the huge portion of the world economy and the growth of the world economy that can be found in this area. And India & UK both share anxieties about autocracies around the world, we’re both democracies and we want to stick together,” he added.

Johnson, who landed in Ahmedabad on Thursday, visited the new JCB Tractor Factory at Halol GIDC Panchmahal.

UK Prime Minister said that India is investing billions of pounds in their country with which India became the second-largest investor in the UK.

He further said, “That investment is going to drive 11,000 jobs in the UK. We also hope to complete another Free trade agreement with India.”

Referring to the UK and India’s excessive dependence upon the ‘Hydrocarbon’, Johnson said that they were talking about building a partnership on hydrogen, electric vehicle and other natural sources of energy so that the cost of energy can be reduced.

He also raised the Ukraine issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, “India strongly condemns the atrocities of Russia against Bucha.” He further said that he is ready to take any step but has to wait until the investigation is completed.

Johnson landed in Gujarat earlier today for his two-day India visit. He was accorded a grand welcome at the airport in Ahmedabad.

He firstly visited Sabarmati Ashram and was accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupesh Patel.

‘Guide to London’, one of the first few books written by Mahatma Gandhi which never got published will also be gifted to UK Prime Minister by Sabarmati Ashram.

UK PM then net Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani.

“Honoured to host @BorisJohnson, the first UK PM to visit Gujarat, at Adani HQ. Delighted to support climate & sustainability agenda with a focus on renewables, green H2 & new energy. Will also work with UK companies to co-create defence & aerospace technologies,” Adani tweeted.

Johnson started his visit from Ahmedabad where he is scheduled to meet with leading business group leaders and discuss the UK and India’s thriving commercial, trade, and people’s links.

This is the first time a UK Prime Minister is in Gujarat, India’s fifth-largest state and the ancestral home of around half of the British-Indian population in the UK.

Johnson will announce a slew of commercial agreements and hold bilateral discussions with a focus on the UK and India’s trade, investment and technology partnership.

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