Indian government has extended an invitation to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to visit India as chief guest for the country's Republic Day celebrations in January next year.
The invite was extended over a telephonic conversation between the sides, sources told India Today TV.
After the said telephonic exchange with Johnson, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying, "We agreed to work towards a quantum leap in our cooperation in all areas - trade and investment, defence and security, climate change, and fighting COVID-19."
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
Responding to PM Modi's tweet, the UK Prime Minister thanked him and tweeted: "Thank you @narendramodi, great to speak to you. I'm very much looking forward to deepening and strengthening the UK-India relationship in 2021 and beyond!"
Thank you @narendramodi, great to speak to you. I'm very much looking forward to deepening and strengthening the UK-India relationship in 2021 and beyond! 🇬🇧🇮🇳 https://t.co/DCOczjm0ALpic.twitter.com/k63ugK2B5n— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 27, 2020
Interestingly, PM Modi is also likely to visit London in 2021 to attend the G-7 summit, for which the British premier had extended him an invitation. This was in light of the proposal made by the US President Donald Trump; to include India in the G-7 in order for the group to expand.
During another telephonic conversation between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi in June 2020, Trump had "conveyed his desire to expand the ambit of the grouping beyond the existing membership, to include other important countries, including India," read a Ministry of External Affairs statement.
Meanwhile, a formal response from the government office in London on the invitation extended by India is yet to come.
"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," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said in a statement regarding the November 27 conversation between the two leaders.
Earlier in November, acting British High Commissioner to India, Jan Thompson, in a media interaction, had mentioned that "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 keen to come to India. So we hope, over the next few months, we will visit, by both FS Raab and PM Johnson."