UK PM Boris Johnson cancels trip to India for Republic Day 2021

The UK PM has cancelled his visit saying that it is important for him to remain in the United Kingdom to focus on the domestic response to the virus.

Created On: Jan 5, 2021 18:58 ISTModified On: Jan 5, 2021 18:58 IST

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on January 4, 2021 cancelled his planned trip to India to be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade 2021. Johnson has cancelled his visit saying that it is important for him to remain in the United Kingdom to focus on the domestic response to the virus.

The UK PM spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the morning and expressed his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month. He said that it was important for him to remain in the UK in the light of the national lockdown announced last night and the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading.

Prime Minister Johnson imposed the third national lockdown in the UK amid worries over rising coronavirus cases due to new mutated COVID-19 strain in the country. The UK has till now reported more than two million COVID-19 cases and 70,000 deaths.

UK Foreign Secretary Raab during his visit to India in December 2020 had announced that the UK PM has accepted the invitation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be the Chief Guest at India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2021 in New Delhi. 

Dominic Raab also informed that the UK PM has invited PM Narendra Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year also welcomed India's return to UN Security Council. The UK Foreign Secretary is currently on a visit to India.

Dr. Jaishankar said that the Foreign Secretary's visit has come at a very important time because it comes when we are looking at a post-COVID world and post-Brexit world.

The External Affairs Minister further stated that the presence of PM Boris Johnson as the chief guest at Republic Day 2021 would be in a way symbolic of a new era, marking a new phase of the relationship between India and the UK.

PM Modi invites UK PM to be R-Day Chief Guest

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reportedly invited UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be the Chief Guest for Republic Day 2021 celebrations during a phone call with him on November 27, 2020 to discuss issues regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change among other things. 

During the call, both the leaders reiterated their shared commitment to work towards a quantum leap in the partnership between India-UK in the post-COVID, post-BREXIT era.

They also reportedly agreed that there is tremendous potential for enhancing collaboration between the two nations in trade and investment and other fields such as defence, security, scientific research and mobility of students and professionals.

Acting British High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson had earlier in November stated that UK PM Boris Johnson will soon make an "in-person" visit to India.

Significance

This would have been the first in-person visit of any head of government to India amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The high-level physical visits have been suspended globally due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The last head of government to visit India was Myanmar President Win Myint and US President Donald Trump in February 2020.

The visit would have also made Boris Johnson the second UK prime minister to attend the Republic Day event after John Major in 1993. It would also have been his first bilateral visit to India since taking the office of the Prime Minister. 

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एग्जाम की तैयारी के लिए ऐप पर वीकली टेस्ट लें और दूसरों के साथ प्रतिस्पर्धा करें। डाउनलोड करें करेंट अफेयर्स ऐप

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