New Delhi: In its first engagement with the new government here, UK's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs William Hague will embark on a two-day visit to India from Monday to hold talks with top leadership on key areas including trade and defence.
Hague will come along with UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and some more senior ministers from British government.
“The UK Foreign Secretary will hold delegation level talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on 8 July 2014. Both sides will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest,” a release from the MEA said.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer will hold Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) with Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, it added.
Both the British ministers will make a joint call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ministry said. During the visit, ways to enhance trade and investment and deepening of defence and security ties are expected to be discussed comprehensively.
UK observed a diplomatic boycott of Modi for nearly a decade after 2002 riots in Gujarat. The boycott was ended nearly a-year-and-a-half ago when British High Commissioner James Bevan called on Modi, then Gujarat Chief Minister, in Ahmedabad in 2012.
Hague and Osborne will be accompanied by an official delegation which would include three other UK ministers-Gregory Barker MP, Minister for Business Engagement with India and Minister of State for Climate Change and Energy; Oliver Letwin, Minister for Government Policy in the Cabinet Office and Joseph Edmund Johnson, Cabinet Office Minister.
“India and the UK have a strategic partnership since 2004 which has been marked by regular high level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse areas. The joint visit of the delegation will provide an opportunity for both sides to work towards further strengthening the Indo-UK strategic partnership,” the MEA said.