British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted India’s “very generous” invite to be the Republic Day chief guest at next month’s celebrations in Delhi, UK’s Foreign Secretary said today, calling it “a great honour”. This will be Boris Johnson’s “first major bilateral visit” since he took charge last year, his office highlighted.
“I am absolutely delighted to be visiting India next year at the start of an exciting year for Global Britain, and look forward to delivering the quantum leap in our bilateral relationship that Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and I have pledged to achieve,” the British PM said.
He is only the second British leader since India’s independence to attend the Republic Day parade in Delhi as guest of honour after John Major in 1993.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said his presence at the annual celebrations “would be in a way symbolic of a new era, and a new phase of India-UK ties”.
Boris Johnson has also invited PM Modi to join the G7 summit next year in Britain, said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. India would be one of the three guest countries. Mr Raab reached Delhi this morning for a four-day India visit, and was welcomed by the Foreign Minister.
“The UK Foreign Secretary comes at a very important time because we are looking at a post-COVID world and also looking at a post-Brexit world from the perspective of the UK. This is the right time for us to hold discussions,” S Jaishankar said on Dominic Raab’s visit.