London/New Delhi.5th Nov. India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Sir Philip Barton, Permanent Under-Secretary at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, met in London yesterday to talk about the strong links between the two countries.

Sir Philip, formerly High Commissioner to India until August this year, represented the UK in his first high-level meeting with any country since taking up his new position as head of the UK’s diplomatic and development service.

The discussion centred around how the UK and India will work together on their shared ambitions. Future priorities are likely to include increasing trade, tackling climate change, science and technology and defence.

The two countries also shared views on the next generation of challenges and opportunities, including assessments of emerging global security threats. They explored areas for the UK and India to collaborate in multilateral events, committing to work closely together through the UK’s G7 and COP Presidencies and India’s G20 Presidency in 2022.

Speaking after the meeting, Sir Philip Barton said: “I am delighted to welcome Foreign Secretary Shringla to London to discuss our joint priorities. India has a special place in my heart and I know first-hand the importance of building the relationship between our two countries. Foreign Secretary Shringla and I agreed a strengthened UK-India partnership will be a force for good in the world, in facing the big international challenges over the next decade, such as climate change and global security.”

The meeting was the latest in a series of high-level UK-India engagements, following the Finance Minister-led Economic and Financial Dialogue last week and the subsequent virtual visit of the Minister for Investment. It precedes a planned High Level Trade Ministerial in November.

During the meeting, Sir Philip extended an invitation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the December Climate Ambition Summit. The UK, as COP26 (to be held in Glasgow next December) President, the UN and France will host the virtual leader-level Summit on 12 December on the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, in partnership with Chile (as COP25 Presidents) and Italy (COP26 partners).

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