British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is likely to travel to Chennai during his visit to India in April. Johnson will be arriving in India on April 26 after his previous tour as the chief guest of Republic Day was cancelled due to COVID-19.
New agency ANI reports that ist sources have confirmed Johnson’s visit to Chennai has been finalised however his schedule for Tamil Nadu is being worked on. They add that advance teams from the UK will soon arrive in Chennai. In his latest interaction with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Johnson had applauded Modi’s leadership in various areas including Renewable energy and climate change. “We have a shared vision for a sustainable future for our nations and the global community – and I very much look forward to discussing this and many other issues with Prime Minister Modi on my upcoming visit to India,” Johnson said on March 17.
Johnson on Friday (March 19) received his first dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. He had cancelled his visit after UK authorities reported a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in the country and were forced to reimpose a strict lockdown amid fears of spreading a highly contagious variant of Coronavirus called as the UK-variant of the Coronavirus strain.
Both India and UK have been reviewing their ongoing cooperation in areas of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing. The leaders of both countries have been negotiating the potential of the India-UK partnership in the post-BREXIT and post-COVID context.
India is high on UK’s priority list as it will be the first country Johnson will visit after Britain’s exit from the European Union. He had recently announced that Britain would “tilt” its focus towards the Indo-Pacific region as part of its integrated review of government policy for the coming years.
UK will also host the next G7 summit in June, where the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also a special invitee. The meet will be an important diplomatic assembly of countries that have been making moves to counterbalance the rising assertiveness of China in the Indo-Pacific region. In a united opposition against China’s intimidation in the South China Sea, the UK, France and Germany onMarch 19 confirmed that they will be sending warships to the South China Sea to pushback Beijing’s assertiveness in the region. UN’s COP 26 meeting on Climate change will also take place later this year in the UK.
(With inputs from ANI)