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Boris Johnson Meets India PM In Delhi, Says India-UK Ties ‘Have Never Been As Strong’

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Boris Johnson has barrelled into Gujarat, the first British prime minister to visit the western Indian state, and the first stop on a frenetic two-day trip. Why Gujarat? Because a large number of Gujaratis live in the UK and it’s the home state of India’s PM Narendra Modi.

On the drive from Ahmedabad’s airport to the city centre, there were miles of billboards celebrating the visit, and crowds waving Indian and UK flags.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning received the United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi as the UK PM kicked off the second day of his India visit. Johnson thanked India for the warm welcome in a brief address. “Thank you for the fantastic welcome…I don’t think things have ever been as strong or as good between us (India-UK) as they are now,” he said.

Johnson was in PM Modi’s home state of Gujarat on day 1 and became the first British prime minister to visit Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic Sabarmati Ashram. In a tweet, ahead of the start of the second day, the 57-year-old world leader wrote: “Looking forward to meeting with my friend @NarendraModi today in New Delhi. From climate change to energy security to defence, the partnership of our democracies is vital as the world faces growing threats from autocratic states. (sic)”.

Hours after kicking off the India visit, confirming a 1-billion-pound deal, the UK PM in a late-night tweet on Thursday shared the experience of being in Gujarat: “It’s been a real pleasure to be in Gujarat today to see the fruits of the incredible partnership between the UK and our friends in India. Today we have confirmed more than £1 billion in new investments between our two great countries, creating almost 11,000 new jobs in the UK.”.

The UK Prime Minister will also hold talks with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar. On the same afternoon, the two sides will issue a press statement at around 1pm at Hyderabad House.

Last year, Prime Minister Johnson and PM Modi agreed on a UK-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, announcing more than 530 million pounds in investment into the UK and committing to a deeper bilateral relationship across trade, health, climate, defence and security, and connecting our people.

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