Foreign Secretary Shri Ranjan Mathai visited London on June 19-20, 2013 for the annual India-UK Foreign Office Consultations.
On June 19, Foreign Secretary held Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) with his UK counterpart, Permanent Under Secretary Sir Simon Fraser on all aspects of India – UK relations. Discussions included a detailed follow up of the decisions reached during UK Prime Minister’s visit to India in February 2013. The situation in India’s neighbourhood, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, Middle-East/West Asia and East Asia was discussed. The two sides noted that frank exchange of views helped promote better understanding of each other’s positions towards the shared goal of obtaining peace, security and stability in the region and beyond.
The dialogue held during Prime Minister Cameron’s visit to India in February, 2013 marked an important step towards further consolidating the India – UK Strategic Partnership. It was noted that trade and investment engagement between the two countries holds considerable promise. In this context, they reviewed the progress made on major economic and commercial issues including the joint feasibility study for the Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor.
The two sides underscored the importance of their ongoing cooperation in counter-terrorism and cyber security and looked forward to the next round of senior expert level bilateral dialogues in these areas of shared concern. Recalling the understanding reached during UK Prime Minister’s visit to India in February 2013, it was agreed to take forward consideration of an agreement on civil nuclear cooperation. The UK side reiterated their commitment to raising bilateral cooperation on high technologies to a new higher level and expressed support for India’s membership of multilateral export control regimes. The two sides also discussed cooperation in higher education, scientific research energy and health sector. Both sides emphasised the importance of people to people contacts.
On June 20, Foreign Secretary Mathai called on National Security Adviser Sir Kim Darroch and the Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Rt Hon Hugo Swire. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the Foreign Office Consultations and hoped that the momentum of the multifaceted bilateral engagement would be further augmented by means of senior official level dialogues on specific mutually agreed themes in the coming months.
June 21, 2013