UK envoy confident of strong India ties under PM Liz Truss

A day after Liz Truss won the Conservative party leadership race, British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said the new British Prime Minister will further strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership between UK and India.

Ellis said Truss has visited India three times in the last 18 months and she knows India well. He also shared the confidence expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his congratulatory tweet. Answering a question on the prospect of trade between the two sides, the British High Commissioner said Indian and UK economies are quite closely tied already and the new administration will aim to double-trade by 2030.

"Liz Truss will further strengthen the UK-India comprehensive strategic partnership. She knows India well and has visited 3 times in the last 18 months. She re-kickstarted our trade negotiations which are now in full swing," the UK envoy said on the new UK Prime Minister.

"Indian-UK economies are quite closely tied already. We aim to double-trade by 2030. Economic ties are good for our economies, jobs and also good for our strategic relationships as well as we face big challenges in the next 25 years," he said.

On India-UK Defence cooperation, he said, "Defence cooperation is part of the comprehensive strategic partnership, which we've agreed with India last year...Last week I myself was on board INS Vikrant. So there's a lot we can do. This is an area where the PM wants to see further progress."

Over possible extradition of Indian fugitives like Vijay Mallya, he said, "UK PM Boris Johnson made it clear that we don't want the UK to be a safe haven for fugitives from other countries... The Government in a way has done all that it can do and did that several years ago. These are now matters for the courts and not for the government."

Liz Truss was announced as the new head of the Conservative Party on September 5. Forty-seven-year-old Liz Truss became the third female prime minister of the UK.


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