New Delhi: The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted India's invite to be the chief guest for the 2021 Republic Day, sources said on Wednesday (December 2, 2020).
The invite was extended during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to UK PM last week.
The telephonic talks that happened on November 27, focused on COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and other related issues.
The Indian government readout of the meet said, "The leaders reiterated their shared desire to impart a quantum jump to the India-UK partnership in the post-COVID, post-BREXIT era, and agreed that there was tremendous potential for enhancing collaboration in trade and investment, scientific research, mobility of professionals and students, and defence and security."
Had an excellent discussion with my friend, UK PM @BorisJohnson on an ambitious roadmap for India-UK ties in the next decade. We agreed to work towards a quantum leap in our cooperation in all areas - trade & investment, defence & security, climate change, and fighting Covid-19.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 27, 2020
Earlier in November, acting British High Commissioner to India, Jan Thompson, said Boris Johnson will soon make an 'in person' visit to India.
She said, "We are expecting UK Foreign secretary Dominic Raab will be paying an in-person visit to India in the next few months. Beyond that, PM Boris Johnson is very very keen to come to India. So we hope, over the next few months, we will visit, by both FS Raab and PM Johnson."
The visit, as of now, will be the first in-person visit of any head of government to India. High-level physical visits have been suspended globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last world leader to visit India was the President of Myanmar Win Myint and US President Donald Trump in February.