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Consultations at the 15th India-UK Foreign Office

On January 16, 2023, in New Delhi, the 15th India-UK Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) were held. Shri Vinay Mohan Kwatra, the Foreign Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, led the Indian delegation, and Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the British delegation. The final FOC took place in London in November 2020.

Roadmap 2030 for Future Relations was adopted as part of a comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the UK. Despite the limitations imposed by the Covid pandemic, the FOC gave participants a chance to evaluate the advancements made in the implementation of Roadmap 2030. Trade and economic cooperation, defense and security, science and technology, interpersonal relationships, health, and climate change were all topics covered by both sides. It was appreciated that letters establishing the Young Professional Scheme were exchanged in London on January 9, 2023, in honor of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. The program would officially begin on February 28. Both sides hope to complete the India-UK FTA as soon as possible, which could increase economic ties between the fifth and sixth largest global economies.

India and the UK discussed a variety of regional and international issues, such as Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, Commonwealth, and United Nations. The UK reiterated its support for UNSC reforms and praised India’s contribution as a non-permanent member at the UN Security Council in 2021–2022. In anticipation of India’s participation in the G20, the UK praised its priorities this year.

The next FOC will take place in London in 2024, and both sides have agreed to continue having regular discussions at senior official and political levels.

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