UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will be in New Delhi on Thursday “as part of a wider diplomatic push following Russias illegal invasion of Ukraine”, a British government statement said.
During a scheduled meeting with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Truss is slated to say that :Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underlines the importance of democracies working closer together to deter aggressors, reduce vulnerability to coercion and strengthen global security”.
“She wants to counter Russia’s aggression and reduce global strategic dependence on the country ahead of key NATO and G7 meetings next week,” the statement said.
Truss will also focus on talks to develop defence-related trade, including innovative security technology, strengthening defence ties with the world’s largest democracy.
“Deeper ties between Britain and India will boost security in the Indo-Pacific and globally, and create jobs and opportunities in both countries,” Truss was quoted as saying in the statement
“This matters even more in the context of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and underlines the need for free democracies to work closer together in areas like defence, trade and cyber security.
“India is an economic and tech powerhouse, the world’s largest democracy and a great friend of Britain, and I want to build an even closer relationship between our two nations,” she added.
According to the statement, the Foreign Secretary will also work to deepen cyber security and defence co-operation between the two countries, and will announce a new joint cyber security programme.
The UK and India will also agree to closer maritime co-operation in the Indo-Pacific, while Britain will join New Delhi’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and become a lead partner on maritime security issues, coordinating work with key partners in Southeast Asia.
This is her second trip to India as Foreign Secretary following her visit last October and her third as a Secretary of State in 13 months.
Since the 2030 Roadmap was agreed last year, the UK and India have launched free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.
During her trip, the Foreign Secretary will also confirm 70 million pounds of British International Investment (BII) funding to support renewable energy use in India, which will help build renewable energy capacity and develop solar power in the region.
She will also confirm plans for a new platform to allow British investors to bid for green infrastructure, technology, and business opportunities in India.
Current volatility in oil and gas prices and energy security concerns, as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, underscore the importance of India’s green transition and move towards energy self-sufficiency, the government statement added.