Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla held talks with Philip R Barton, Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, during which they agreed to strengthen the UK-India partnership and work together to tackle global challenges, such as climate change and security.
During the talks, Shringla and Barton exchanged views on global and regional issues, international terrorism and COVID-19 pandemic response.
Shringla arrived in London early this week to take forward India and UK strategic partnership.
"Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla held consultations with Permanent #UnderSecretary, Sir @PhilipRBarton @FCDOGovUK on multi-faceted #IndiaUK cooperation, exchanged views on global and regional issues, international terrorism & #Covid19 pandemic response," Indian High Commission in the UK tweeted on Thursday.
"Today @harshvshringla and I agreed that a strengthened UK-India partnership will be a force for good in the world. We will work together over the next decade to tackle global challenges, such as #climatechange and security," Barton tweeted.
Barton, formerly High Commissioner to India until August this year, represented the UK in his first high-level meeting with any country since taking up his new position as head of the UK's diplomatic and development service, according to a statement by British High Commission.
The discussion between both leaders centered around how the UK and India will work together on their shared ambitions. Future priorities are likely to include increasing trade, tackling climate change, science and technology and defence.
The two countries also shared views on the next generation of challenges and opportunities, including assessments of emerging global security threats. They explored areas for the UK and India to collaborate in multilateral events, committing to work closely together through the UK's G7 and COP Presidencies and India's G20 Presidency in 2022.
The meeting was the latest in a series of high-level UK-India engagements, following the Finance Minister-led Economic and Financial Dialogue held last week and the subsequent virtual visit of the Minister for Investment. It precedes a planned High-Level Trade Ministerial in November.
During the meeting, Barton extended an invitation for Prime Minister Modi to attend the December Climate Ambition Summit. The UK, as COP26 (to be held in Glasgow next December) President, the UN and France will host the virtual leader-level Summit on 12 December on the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement, in partnership with Chile (as COP25 Presidents) and Italy (COP26 partners).
The High Commission said that the Shringla's UK visit is part of India's continuing international engagement and diplomatic outreach in spite of limitations posed by the COVID-19.
"Reached #London for a 33-hour, 9-engagement visit, entailing talks with the #British Foreign Office leadership and meetings with Ministers, key officials, MPs, business, media and the strategic community. In the post-coronavirus world, the India-UK vaccine partnership, will come up," Shringla tweeted on Tuesday.
Shringla also held talks with Manoj Ladwa, Chairman and CEO India Inc. Group, at IndiaHouse on 'Global India, Self-Reliant India: Opportunities in a new World Order'.
"Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla in a conversation with @manojladwa at #IndiaHouse on 'Global India, Self-Reliant India: Opportunities in a new world Order'," the High Commission tweeted.