EAM S Jaishankar Reaches London Ahead Of 5-Day UK Visit

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is anticipated to participate in an event at Lord’s Cricket Ground and deliver a speech at a Diwali Reception hosted by the High Commission of India in London on Monday.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has arrived in London at the start of a five-day visit to the UK with an aim to review various aspects of bilateral ties and give "new impetus to the friendly ties".

"Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous Diwali. Hope that this Festival of Lights brings peace, prosperity and health for all," the EAM posted on X on Sunday.

While in the UK, the EAM is expected to attend an event at Lord’s Cricket Ground and address a Diwali Reception organised by the High Commission of India in London on Monday.

Later next week, he is also expected at a repatriation ceremony for two ancient temple sculptures from Uttar Pradesh and join a discussion on the theme of ‘How a billion people see the world’. During his talks with his UK counterpart, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, in London, it is expected that preparations for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's possible visit to India in the next few months will be on the agenda.

"External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be on an official visit to the United Kingdom from November 11-15," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had earlier said.

"India and the UK have a growing bilateral partnership. During his visit, the external affairs minister will be holding discussions with his counterpart, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and will meet several other dignitaries," it said in a statement.

The MEA also referred to the "warm and thriving" relationship between the two sides.

The India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched in 2021 along with the India-UK Roadmap 2030 that seeks to expand ties in a range of areas.

"The roadmap is a commitment to a partnership that delivers for both the countries. The External Affairs Minister's visit will give a new impetus to the friendly ties between the two countries," the MEA said.

India and the UK have been negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) since January last year with a target to significantly enhance the estimated GBP 36-billion bilateral trading partnership. The talks have undergone 13 rounds of negotiations, with officials hopeful of clinching a deal ahead of general elections in both countries scheduled for 2024.