UK forges stronger defence and security partnership with India
India’s foreign minister S. Jaishankar with UK foreign secretary Liz Truss and other officials during their meeting in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
IN her current trip to India, the UK’s foreign secretary Liz Truss in order to forge stronger security and defence links with India, visited HMS Queen Elizabeth in Mumbai on Saturday (23).
The ship is the spearhead of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG), and on its visit to Mumbai is taking part in an exercise, involving all three military services.
During her visit, Truss is expected to progress talks on defence and security ties and boost strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. She will also take forward the joint work agreed by Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi in the landmark 2030 Roadmap on maritime security, cyber security and counter terrorism, signed earlier this year.
Truss said: “Closer defence and security partnerships between the UK and India underpin deeper economic ties and make both countries, as well as the wider region, safer. We need to protect our sea and trade routes and, operating from a position of strength, be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices.
“The arrival of the Carrier Strike Group in India this weekend represents the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in action. This is a true symbol of Global Britain, working closely with like-minded partners like India.”
Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter is also visiting Mumbai to see the Carrier Strike Group in action. He joined his Indian counterpart General Bipin Rawat in Delhi to discuss regional security and laid a commemorative wreath at the National War Museum.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “A strengthened partnership with India is a key pillar of the UK’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific. Our Carrier Strike group visit represents an important step towards our goal of establishing a maritime partnership with India in support of mutual security objectives in the Indian Ocean.”