UK PM Boris Johnson postpones India visit amid Covid crisis, speaks to Modi

New Delhi: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned, said a statement released by British Prime Minister’s office, 10 Downing Street.

The statement said, ‘In light of the national lockdown announcement last night, and the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading, the Prime Minister said that it was important for him to remain in the UK so he can focus on the domestic response to the virus.’

‘The leaders underlined their shared commitment to the bilateral relationship, and to continuing to build on the close collaboration between our countries – including in response to the pandemic,’ the statement further reads.

It adds, ‘the Prime Minister (Boarris) said that he hopes to be able to visit India in the first half of 2021, and ahead of the UK’s G7 Summit that Prime Minister Modi is due to attend as a guest.’

It’s worth to mention that Boris had earlier agreed to be the Chief Guest on India’s Republic day function in response to invitation from India. However in latest development, the situation of Covid-19 pandemic in UK has worsened with over 25,000 active cases and fresh imposition of lockdown.

Update: Readout issued by Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation today with the Prime Minister of UK The Rt Hon Boris Johnson.

Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his thanks for India’s invitation for him as the Chief Guest of the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations, but regretted his inability to attend in view of the changed COVID-19 context prevailing in the UK. He reiterated his keennees to visit India in the near future.

Prime Minister expressed his understanding of the exceptional situation in the UK, and conveyed his best wishes for the quick control of the pandemic spread. He looked forward to receiving Prime Minister Johnson in India at the earliest opportunity after normalisation of the situation.

The leaders reviewed ongoing cooperation between both countries, including in the area of making COVID-19 vaccines available for the world. They reiterated their shared belief in the potential of the India-UK partnership in the post-BREXIT, post-COVID context, and agreed to work towards a comprehensive roadmap for realising this potential.


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