British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis flaunted his Hindi conversation skills at the birthday celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II at the British High Commission in Delhi on Wednesday night.
British envoy Alex Ellis greeted everyone with a "namaskar" and said in Hindi that last year was very difficult due to COVID but nowadays, it is difficult in Ukraine due to Russia.
He said in Hindi he is happy that all the people are here as "last year was very difficult due to Covid-19. Nowadays, it is difficult in Ukraine due to Russia. But today we are together." Later on, Ellis shifted to his native language, English, saying that he only knew this much Hindi. He said his Hindi teacher was also present at the event but couldn't come outside may be because of embarrassment. "Guruji, my apologies," the British diplomat added.
The party was held ahead of the talks between UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Ellis indicated that talks may include the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
"I don't want to comment on specific issues regarding Ukraine. What I would say is that the principles of the UN Charter are important to us all. That is exactly what our Foreign Secretary will be talking with Jaishankar on March 31," Ellis told ANI.
"But there are many other aspects as well-- the climate change challenge, the long-term challenge of trade, of health. So, we will have to look at all of these challenges together. But together UK and India are quite a mighty force," said the British High Commissioner to India.He said Truss is visiting India to have "deep talks" with Jaishankar.
"Our PMs (UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi) have signed a new, much deeper partnership, a strategic partnership. We want to work together to develop that, including in defence and security. That's why our Foreign Secretary is coming here to have deep talks with Jaishankar," he added.
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Ellis said that there is much "more we can do to develop our defence and security links to deal with many issues. The issue around sovereignty, of international law, of territorial integrity -- the common issues for us all to deal with." Truss will pay an official visit to India on March 31 to hold talks with Jaishankar on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
She would also participate in the inaugural edition of the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum, a track 1.5 Dialogue between the two countries hosted by the Indian Council of World Affairs and Policy Exchange, UK.