The Indian Ministry of External Affairs Official confirmed that the UK-India free trade agreement (FTA) was discussed during External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar's meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on his recent visit to the country.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters: "The EAM discussed the FTA with the UK PM and the newly sworn-in Foreign Secretary [David Cameron].
"Both India and UK are engaged on this important issue to see if we can find a solution or reach a final stage."
On his five-day visit to the UK which concluded this week, Dr Jaishankar met with Cameron and discussed progressing the FTA and partnerships on defence, science and technology. During their meeting, the two leaders reflected on the strength of the UK-India relationship, including meeting the ambition of the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, according to the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
"The Foreign Secretary and Jaishankar also discussed progressing a free trade agreement and partnerships on defence, science and technology," the FCDO said.
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The duo also discussed shared global challenges, including the situation in Israel and Gaza and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched in 2021 along with the India-UK Roadmap 2030, according to the MEA. The Roadmap is a commitment to a partnership that delivers for both countries.
In a media interaction with reporters in London, Dr Jaishankar shared that the issue of pro-Khalistan extremism (PKE) was also discussed during his talks with UK Home Secretary James Cleverly and National Security Adviser (NSA) Tim Barrow.
He shared: “We have long-standing concerns about extremist and sometimes even violent activities of various forces, including those who propagate Khalistan.
“We have been trying to get the government here to understand that while we as a fellow democracy certainly understand the importance of freedom of expression, and of speech, they should be on guard against the misuse of these freedoms.”
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After the violent protests at India House in London in March, the minister said the “gravity of the situation is sharply recognised” by the UK and India's expectation is that its diplomatic mission would be provided requisite protection to conduct their activities in an unrestricted way and there would be a “firm stance against the advocacy of violence and extremism”.
(*With ANI Inputs)