India, UK hold annual Strategic Dialogue, review progress on 2030 Roadmap

Alongside celebrating the milestones since the last review, this year's dialogue included the ongoing commitment to negotiate a mutually beneficial FTA and enhancing defence cooperation.
India and the UK are looking ahead to the next phase of bilateral cooperation (Photo | @HCI_London)
India and the UK are looking ahead to the next phase of bilateral cooperation (Photo | @HCI_London)

NEW DELHI: Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra and Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), met in London on May 17 for the annual UK-India Strategic Dialogue. Kwatra also met other senior leaders and officials including the UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement.

The two reviewed "the progress made on the UK-India 2030 Roadmap since the last Dialogue in January 2023 and looked ahead to the next phase of bilateral cooperation," the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said in a statement.

The FCDO added, "The two reflected on good progress on the 2030 Roadmap since the last review, noting key areas where the UK and India have worked together to tackle some of the world's biggest challenges. This included collaborating on the world's first malaria vaccine, working closely on India's successful G20 Presidency and increasing opportunities for students and entrepreneurs under the Migration and Mobility Partnership."

Alongside celebrating the milestones since the last review, this year's dialogue included the ongoing commitment to negotiate a mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and enhancing defence cooperation.

Foreign Secretary Kwatra also had a "fruitful meeting" with UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge, the High Commission of India in London said, during which they discussed ongoing India-UK defence capability cooperation initiatives and avenues for future collaboration.

During the visit, Kwatra also met Lord Ahmad, FCDO Minister for South Asia, and discussed the FTA, migration and the Commonwealth.

Lord Ahmad said: "We are delighted to host Indian Foreign Secretary Kwatra in London to underline the UK's commitment to deepening cooperation with India. I look forward to our relationship going from strength to strength, working together on trade, defence, climate, and health."

The Foreign Secretary also held meetings with Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Under-Secretary of State of the Home Office of the United Kingdom and National Security Advisor (NSA) Sir Tim Barrow.

The meeting with Rycroft was "productive". The two "discussed ways to ease legal migration while curbing illegal flows. They recognised the need to further enhance cooperation in tackling extremism and terrorism," the Indian High Commission in London said on X (formerly Twitter).

Foreign Secretary Kwatra and NSA Barrow discussed key areas of bilateral ties as well as the broader geopolitical security landscape.

In May 2021, the UK and India agreed ambitious plans for the next decade of the bilateral relationship with the 2030 Roadmap that includes commitments to deepen cooperation on health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.

The 2030 Roadmap envisions India and the UK are committed to a partnership that delivers for both countries. "Our 2030 vision is for revitalised and dynamic connections between our people; re-energised trade, investment and technological collaboration that improves the lives and livelihoods of our citizens; enhanced defence and security cooperation that brings a more secure Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific and India-UK leadership in climate, clean energy and health that acts as a global force for good," says the vision document.

The two countries have already held 13 rounds of talks on the Free Trade Agreement. The 14th round began in January 2024.

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