Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted India’s invitation to be Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on 26 January 2021 in New Delhi. The announcement was made after UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday. This will be Johonoson’s first major bilateral visit since taking office last year and the first since Britain’s exit from the European Union. With this, he will be the second UK PM since India’s independence to attend the Republic Day parade as a guest of honour after John Major in 1993.
Johnson described India as an important part of the Indo-Pacific region and said his visit will mark the start of an “exciting year” for Global Britain and deliver a “quantum leap” in the bilateral ties. On his part, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said his presence at the annual celebrations would be in a way symbolic of a new era in India-UK ties.
Downing Street informed that trade and investment, defense and security, health and climate change will be some of the major areas of focus on both sides for the visit. Johnson has not only accepted the invitation but has also invited India to attend the UK’s G7 Summit as one of three guest nations alongside South Korea and Australia with a focus to work together on tackling climate change and to advance shared interests and tackle common challenges.