The recent virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson has "truly redefined" contours of the India and UK relationship, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday, adding that the roadmap agreed during the meeting will guide policymakers in an expansion of ties between the two nations.
British Prime Minister Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual summit on Tuesday and agreed on ambitious plans for the next decade of the UK-India relationship.
"48 hrs ago, our PMs (PM Modi-UK PM) had a virtual summit that has truly redefined contours of our relationship. They agreed on an ambitious Roadmap for 2030 that sets forth their vision for cooperation in great detail," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking at an event in London.
"Modi-Johnson summit produced a detailed roadmap that'll guide policymakers and implementors in an expansion of our ties. Equally significantly it saw the launch of enhanced trade partnership committed to negotiating a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement while improving market access," he added.
In the virtual summit, both leaders agreed to enhance the India-UK defence partnership with a particular focus on maritime and industrial collaboration.
According to a press release by the British High Commission (BHC), the leaders reaffirmed the benefits of closer cooperation in a free and open Indo-Pacific, recognising their shared interest in regional prosperity and stability.
India and UK agreed on a "2030 Roadmap" which will provide a framework for bilateral relations across health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.
As part of their "2030 Roadmap", they agreed to work closely together in support of India's indigenous development of the Light Combat Aircraft Mark 2.
They also spoke of the potential for further industrial collaboration in areas like maritime propulsion, space and cyber, marking the start of a promising new era of UK-India research, capability and industrial collaboration on Indian combat air and beyond, according to the release.
They agreed to significant new cooperation on Maritime Domain Awareness, which includes new agreements on maritime information sharing, an invitation to the UK to join India's Information Fusion Centre in Gurgaon and an ambitious exercise programme that includes joint trilateral exercises.
The two countries are also working to conclude a Logistics Memorandum of Understanding that will enhance the joint ability to tackle shared challenges.
In addition to commitments on the Indo-Pacific, India and the UK agreed to build on existing government-to-government collaboration on India's future combat air engine requirement.
A BHC statement said the two Prime Ministers have made a historic commitment to strengthening work between the UK and India over the next decade, bringing the two "countries, economies and people closer together and boosting cooperation in areas that matter to both countries".
"This is a defining moment in the UK-India partnership, as we look to rebuild from the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, and lay the foundations for a secure and prosperous decade," said British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis.