In a first, Indian PM speaks to King Charles III

New Delhi, Jan 3 (EFE).- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke Tuesday by phone with King Charles III of the United Kingdom for the first time since the monarch assumed office in September last year.

An Indian government statement said the two leaders discussed several issues of mutual interest during the telephone conversation.

These include climate action, conservation of biodiversity, and innovative solutions for financing the energy transition.

Modi expressed his appreciation for the new British monarch’s “abiding interest and advocacy on these issues,” the statement said.

The Indian prime minister briefed King Charles on India’s priorities for its G20 Presidency that it assumed in December last year.

Modi explained the relevance of Mission LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment, through which India seeks to promote environmentally sustainable lifestyles.

“They also appreciated the role of the Indian community in the UK in acting as a ‘living bridge’ between both countries and enriching bilateral relations,” said the statement.

The leaders exchanged views on the Commonwealth of Nations and how to boost its functioning.

King Charles, who succeeded Queen Elizabeth II after her death, is also the symbolic head of the Commonwealth, a group of Britain and its former colonies, including India, who chose to maintain friendly ties after their independence.

India achieved its independence from the British Empire in 1947.

Bilateral ties have gradually evolved from post-colonial tensions to close economic and security partners.

British Foreign Minister James Cleverly traveled to India in October to meet his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and strengthen ties between the two nations.

The visit came days after Indian-origin Rishi Sunak was elected as the UK prime minister.

The election of the former British chancellor of the exchequer (the UK’s equivalent of finance minister) as the new prime minister sparked a flurry of celebrations in India by politicians and ordinary citizens.

India and the UK have been negotiating a free trade agreement to strengthen their economies by significantly boosting bilateral commerce, which is tipped to double by 2030. EFE


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