India today threatened to take reciprocal measures against the United Kingdom if it did not amicably settle the row between the two countries over London’s Covid-19 related travel rules under which Indians vaccinated with Covishield would still be treated as unvaccinated.
Addressing the media, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla wondered why the UK had resorted to this ‘discriminatory policy’ which was affecting Indian travellers to the European nation.
“Here is Covishield, a product of a UK-based company being manufactured in India…why should it not be given recognition?” he asked.
Shringla noted that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had taken up the issue with newly-appointed British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss in New York last evening and sought an “early resolution” of the issue in the mutual interest of the two countries.
The foreign secretary said his information was that the British side had assured Jaishankar that it was keen to settle the matter at the earliest.
”Pleased to meet the new UK Foreign Secretary @trussliz. Discussed the progress of Roadmap 2030. Appreciated her contribution on the trade side. Exchanged views on developments in Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific. Urged early resolution of the quarantine issue in mutual interest,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.
Jaishankar, who arrived in New York on Monday to participate in the UN General Assembly, also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the developments in the Indo-Pacific during his meeting with the British leader.
He also had bilateral meetings with his counterparts from some other countries, including Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.
The meeting with the British foreign minister came a day after the UK announced new COVID-related travel restrictions which have caused a furore in India.
According to new rules, Indian travellers who have received both doses of the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will be considered unvaccinated and will have to undergo self-isolation for 10 days.