‘A great honour’: UK PM Boris Johnson accepts India's invitation to be chief guest at 2021 Republic Day celebrations

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted India's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on January 26, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced on Tuesday.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “I'm pleased that PM Boris Johnson has invited PM Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year. UK PM Johnson has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India's Republic Day celebrations in January, which is a great honour.”

Speaking at the joint press briefing along with Raab after bilateral and delegation-level talks, Jaishankar said that UK PM Boris Johnson accepting the invitation for the Republic Day was, in a way, symbolic of a new era in Indo-UK ties. "The presence of PM Boris Johnson as the chief guest at Republic Day 2021 would be in a way symbolic of a new era, a new phase of our relationship," he said.

Jaishankar said he and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had a four-hour-long discussion on a wide range of issues including on how to take India and UK ties at a higher level.

"We have had this morning four hours of discussion on a wide range of issues and focus has been on how to take our ties to a higher level. In recent years as you know, there have been very big changes in global politics and we both believe that our interests are better served by working together more effectively," he said.

"We focused on five broad themes -- connecting people, trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate change, and health," he added.

Jaishankar and Raab also reviewed the situation in Afghanistan, the evolution of the Indo-Pacific, and developments in the middle-east. "We reviewed the situation in Afghanistan, the evolution of the Indo-Pacific, and developments in the middle-east were among the subjects discussed. Challenges posed by terrorism and radicalism were a shared concern," Jaishankar said.

(Input from ANI)

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