Rishi Sunak
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Prime Minister Modi dials new UK counterpart Rishi Sunak; FTA comes up in talks

After their meeting, Prime Minister Modi said on Twitter that the two nations would cooperate to further develop the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Sunak expressed his excitement for what our two great democracies can accomplish as we strengthen our collaboration in terms of security, defence, and the economy in the months and years to come.

Rishi Sunak

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called with his new British counterpart Rishi Sunak, congratulating him on taking office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

After their meeting, Prime Minister Modi said on Twitter that the two nations would cooperate to further develop the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The Prime Minister added, “We also agreed on the significance of early conclusion of a thorough and balanced FTA.”

Sunak responded by thanking Prime Minister Modi for his nice sentiments and emphasising the connection between India and the UK. “Thank you for your warm remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as I begin in my new position. India and the UK have several ties. As we strengthen our security, defence, and economic collaboration in the months and years to come, I am thrilled about what our two great democracies can accomplish, Sunak remarked.

It should be noted that India and the UK began talks on a free-trade agreement (FTA) in January of this year with the intention of finishing them by Diwali, but the deadline was missed due to a lack of agreement on key points.

Sunak supported the FTA when Chancellor of the Exchequer because he saw huge prospects for both nations in the insurance and fintech industries. At 42, Sunak, a former investment banker who entered politics, is the country’s youngest prime minister in 210 years. He is also the first Hindu Prime Minister of Britain.

The new British government is already aiming to strengthen ties with India. Later this week, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is scheduled to travel to India for the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee’s special meeting. This is the first trip by a senior British official since Sunak became the country’s first prime minister of Indian descent.

However, Sunak’s re-appointment of Suella Braverman to her position as Home Secretary will be of worry to New Delhi. The ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and the UK were nearly halted by Braverman’s hardline attitude on immigration and her remarks regarding Indian visa overstayers.

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