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British Foreign Secretary to hold talks with Modi

IANS | New Delhi |

Visiting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is to hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, has described the UK and India as "natural partners".

Johnson, the first British Cabinet Minister to visit India since Prime Minister Theresa May's India visit last year, is to deliver the keynote address at the Second Raisina Dialogue here.

The British Foreign Secretary will set out the UK's vision for a Global Britain and a strengthened relationship with India and the region in his keynote speech, an official statement from the British High Commission said.

He will hold talks with Prime Minister Modi and Indian ministers, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister for External Affairs MJ Akbar, to continue working towards the ambitious partnership that the two Prime Ministers committed to during May's visit to India last November.

Johnson will also meet young Indian entrepreneurs and civil society leaders, as well as host a breakfast for British and Indian business representatives and investors.

On Thursday, he will travel to Kolkata where he will meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and representatives of the Cricket Association of Bengal. He will attend a debating competition featuring teams from Cambridge University and the London School of Economics marking the bicentenary of Presidency University, the statement said.

"It's a tremendous pleasure to be back in India, a wonderful, beautiful and thriving country. As two modern, diverse democracies, the UK and India are natural partners and we are committed to working together to promote our people's prosperity, improve global security and tackle the challenges that both our countries face today," he said.

"As well as a trade relationship worth 16 billion pounds, Indian companies have already created more than 100,000 jobs in the UK and sent 160,000 of the brightest and best students to our world class universities over the last 10 years. I have no doubt that the UK and India share an exciting future together on the world stage," he said.