UK parliamentary delegation calls on Vice President, discuss business

A parliamentary delegation from the United Kingdom called on Vice President Jagadeep Dhankhar on Tuesday and held discussions on historical, business, and people-to-people ties between both countries.

On Twitter, the Vice President said, “A parliamentary delegation from the UK, co-led by Baroness Verma and Lord Karan Bilimoria, called on the Hon’ble Vice President, Shri Jagadeep Dhankhar, today. The discussion touched upon historical, business, and people-to-people ties as they resolved to take the India-UK relationship to greater heights.”

The delegation also met with Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel, Jyotiraditya Scindia, on Tuesday and had a discussion on enhancing trade ties, strengthening bilateral agreements, safety and security, and India’s G20 leadership.

This meeting came amid a Times’ report claiming India had stalled negotiations due to its concerns that the British government had failed to condemn the recent attack on the High Commission in London by pro-Khalistan supporters.

A London-based newspaper, The Times, in its April 10 edition, cited senior British government sources to report that the Indian government has “disengaged” from talks for a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the UK and has made it clear that there will be no progress “without a public condemnation of the Khalistan movement.” However, government sources in New Delhi denied the “baseless” report.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the UK Department for Business and Trade said on April 10that British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly condemned the recent acts of violence at the Indian High Commission in London, adding that the Metropolitan Police were reviewing security and changes were being made to ensure safety.

Cleverly also said that both the UK and India are committed to delivering an ambitious and mutually beneficial foreign trade agreement and concluded the latest round of trade talks last month, the spokesperson said.

The India-UK Free Trade Agreement talks were launched on June 17, 2022. On March 19 this year, protesters holding Khalistan banners staged a demonstration outside the High Commission in London. One of the protestors climbed up its balcony and pulled down the tricolour. The protest was being held to denounce the recent police action in Punjab.

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