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India, UK vow to boost cooperation in maritime security, counter-terrorism

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 10, 2019  | 20:03 IST

New Delhi, May 10 (PTI) India and the UK on Friday resolved to step up cooperation in the key areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism and climate change as the two countries held their foreign office consultations to review the entire range of bilateral relations. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale represented the Indian side, while the UK side was headed by Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Under Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK government. ?The consultations provided an opportunity to review the entire range of bilateral relations, including political, economic, commercial, scientific, regional and international cooperation, including in the Commonwealth, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement. They expressed satisfaction on the level of political exchanges and decided to further intensify them in the coming months. Both sides agreed to increase their collaboration in the fields of Indo-Pacific, disaster resilience, climate change and development in third countries, amongst other areas. The instrument of ratification of the UK joining the International Solar Alliance was formally handed over during the consultations. Over the past year, the two countries have identified specific areas to work together as a force for good, for example on a global coalition on climate resilience, disaster relief and development, the British High Commission said in a statement. Bilateral trade has grown by 14 per cent, and visas for Indian students have increased by 35 per cent, it said. "The UK-India relationship is focused on the future: whether it be through the technology partnership, security collaboration or economic ties, our bilateral cooperation is designed to build shared prosperity and tackle future challenges. It has been 12 months of impressive progress since the Commonwealth Summit," Simon said. He said over the next decade, the UK and India will be ever more central players in global debates on security, development and protecting the planet. "I'm delighted that, together, we are tackling these issues head on as partners -- reinforcing our two prime ministers' desire to act as a joint 'Force for Good' in the world," he said. The FCO consultations also covered bilateral cooperation on cyber and maritime security, counter-terrorism, and other regional challenges, the British High Commission said. Simon and Gokhale also reconfirmed the commitment made by their respective prime ministers to encourage closer business, cultural and intellectual cooperation, so that millions more are able to learn, travel, trade, create and thrive together. PTI ASK DPB

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