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Johnson set to offer Modi increased UK-India defence co-operation

Boris Johnson will offer increased security cooperation to Narendra Modi during talks in New Delhi on Friday, with the aim of breaking India’s reliance on Russian weapons.

The British Prime Minister will present the prospect of closer military ties in talks with his Indian counterpart on the last day of his visit. He has already said he has no plans to confront Modi amid India’s refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which supply Most of the country’s weapons.

Talks will instead focus on increasing security and defense cooperation, as well as building momentum around an ambitious goal of completing a free trade agreement by the end of the current year.

“The world is facing increasing threats from autocratic countries seeking to undermine democracy, stifle free and fair trade and trample on sovereignty. Britain’s partnership with India is a beacon in these stormy seas,” Johnson said.

Britain has said it plans to support the construction of fighter jets in India, based on previous ones Cooperation On fighter jets beginning in the 1970s, and speeding up the licensing process for New Delhi to purchase weapons from the UK. The proposal will also include more joint military exercises and an exchange of officers.

Because India is engaged in military tensions with China, Downing Street said the UK would support India’s demands for new technology to identify and respond to threats in the Indian Ocean.

Lord Karen Bilimoria, the CBI president who traveled to India with Johnson, said he would support further opportunities for British defense companies to manufacture in India.

BAE Systems, the UK’s largest defense contractor, has long-standing ties with India through its partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics, most recently in Hawk and ground attack aircraft.

“We have great expertise and technology, whether it’s companies like BAE or Rolls-Royce – I’m just a couple,” Bilimoria told the Financial Times.

India’s position on Ukraine has provoked a plethora of diplomatic activity in New Delhi in recent weeks, including high-level visits From Russia and porcelain. European Commission President Ursula von der Lane is also scheduled to travel to India this weekend.

Johnson drew controversy on Thursday when he visited a new JCB plant in Gujarat state not long after some of the British-made bulldozers were photographed destroying Muslim-owned properties in the Delhi neighborhood.

The prime minister insisted India was “democratic” and that it would raise “difficult issues” with Moody, but his spokesman said he did not specifically mean the controversial bulldozer, which has sparked a Supreme Court case.

Johnson’s visit to the JCB plant in Gujarat has sparked controversy when bulldozers from the company were photographed days earlier destroying Muslim-owned properties © Ben Stansall / Getty Images

Johnson was photographed on a bulldozer after being introduced at the factory by JCB owner Lord Anthony Bumford, a major serial donor. Amnesty India, a human rights body, said the timing of Johnson’s visit was “not just ignorance but his silence on the incident [was] silent”.

Johnson’s allies insisted the new plant was “a very good illustration of a UK business working with India”, adding that it was “a matter for the Indian authorities as to how the equipment is being used”. JCB declined to comment.

Johnson and Moody will also discuss trade when they meet on Friday, as they try to push for an agreement long before the UK and India general elections in 2024.

Britain, which trades twice as much with Belgium than with India, claims that British businesses have struggled to grow in India because of barriers like high tariffs on everything from whiskey to car parts.

But efforts to improve trade have been halted in the past by New Delhi’s demands for further UK visas for Indian students and skilled workers.

This time British officials suggested they were willing to consider greater opportunities for the Indians, despite the fact that such plans would turn out to be a political controversy. On the way to India Johnson said that the UK is facing a “huge shortage” of hundreds of thousands of workers in sectors like IT.

Johnson set to offer Modi increased UK-India defence co-operation Source link Johnson set to offer Modi increased UK-India defence co-operation

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