Strengthening defense cooperation between the UK and India will be the main focus of Saturday’s visit by British Foreign Minister Elizabeth Truss to Mumbai. Simultaneously with the visit, the British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth will participate in joint exercises of the Navy and Air Force of the two countries in the Indian Ocean.
Truss is accompanied by Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin for a two-day visit to Delhi and Mumbai from October 22 to 24.
“The minister’s visit will move forward talks on strengthening defense and security ties and developing strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region … and to strengthen bilateral trade in defense products,” says the ministry release.
Ahead of her visit to Mumbai, Trass said Queen Elizabeth’s participation in joint exercises with Indian forces exemplifies Britain’s pivot towards the Indo-Pacific after the kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.
“I want the UK and India to step-up their partnership in critical areas like technology, investment, security and defence. India is the world’s largest democracy, a tech and economic powerhouse and a vital strategic partner for the UK,” she added.
On Friday, Truss met with her Indian counterpart Subramaniyam Jaishankar in New Delhi to discuss joint economic and infrastructure projects.