UK's Boris Johnson to visit India on 'peace and prosperity' mission

Meetings with counterpart Narendra Modi are aimed at enhancing partnership between the two nations

Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson met at last year’s Cop26 meeting in Scotland. Reuters
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India on a peace and prosperity mission that will take in both the war in Ukraine and expanding trade.

The British government said the meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi were intended to deepen a partnership as both countries face economic challenges, including rising inflation at home.

Without mentioning the war in Ukraine or Russia, the UK government said both countries faced threats from autocratic states.

Nato nations and the EU have been imposing more and more sanctions on Russia and trying to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.

Mr Modi has been criticised by the US for India’s position on the continuing war, with New Delhi continuing to buy Russian oil.

Mr Johnson and Mr Modi will hold in-depth talks on India’s strategic defence, diplomatic and economic partnership.

“As we face threats to our peace and prosperity from autocratic states, it is vital that democracies and friends stick together,” Mr Johnson said.

“India, as a major economic power and the world’s largest democracy, is a highly valued strategic partner for the UK in these uncertain times.

“My visit to India will deliver on the things that really matter to the people of both our nations, from job creation and economic growth, to energy security and defence.”

The prime minister will visit the western state of Gujarat and the capital New Delhi this week, for his first trip to the country as prime minister.

The visit will begin in Ahmedabad on Thursday where Mr Johnson will meet businesses leaders. He is expected to secure major new investment deals, supporting UK businesses, jobs and growth.

Mr Johnson is expected to announce major investment in industries in both the UK and India, as well as new collaboration on cutting-edge science, health and technology.

The meeting with Mr Modi will focus on boosting economic, defence, security and technology co-operation, the UK said.

Updated: April 17, 2022, 6:58 PM