LONDON: In an oblique critique of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, India and the UK have pitched for “a secure, free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with his British counterpart Theresa May in London on Aoril 18, which culminated in a roadmap for advancing India-UK relation across the spectrum.Beside bilateral issues, a host of geopolitical issues also figured prominently in the discussion. Without naming China, the joint statement underlined the shared commitment of India and the UK for a rules-based international system.“A secure, free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific is in the interests of India, the UK and the international community,” it said.
Forging global partnership
The India-UK joint statement also emphasized that two countries will cooperate to tackle issues related to piracy, terrorism and threats from extremist organizations and cyber threats, ensure free, fair and open trade, protect freedom of navigation and improve awareness related to maritime security.“As thriving democracies, we share a desire to work closely together and with all who share our objective to support a rules-based international order that upholds agreed international norms, global peace and stability,” it said.
The talks in London have expanded the canvas of India-UK partnership on global and regional issues. “Together the UK and India are a force for good in an uncertain world. We are sharing our experience and knowledge to tackle global challenges,” the joint statement reaffirmed.The two countries have also pledged to take proactive steps to control climate change and facilitate people-to-people contact and cultural exchanges.With the visa regime proving to be a dampener for Indian students, the UK showcased itself as a preferred education destination. “We welcome the best and brightest to study and work in the UK, especially in subjects and sectors that develop the skills and capabilities that will boost the prosperity of both our countries”, the statement added.
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