New Delhi, Oct 23 (EFE).- British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Saturday sought to strengthen defense and security relations with India with an eye on boosting strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
Truss landed in the Asian country on Friday as part of an official visit to show its support for securing a “free, open, inclusive and prosperous” Indo-Pacific, according to a statement by the UK government.
The British minister believes that strengthening defense and security alliances with the South Asian country will “underpin deeper economic ties and make both countries, as well as the wider region, safer.”
“We need to protect our sea and trade routes and, operating from a position of strength, be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices,” said Truss.
The HMS aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, the largest warship built by the British Navy, reached the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, coinciding with the visit to reflect UK’s “our growing defense and maritime co-operation with India,” said the statement.
Upon her arrival Friday in New Delhi, the foreign secretary met with her Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, to review and analyze progress on the 2030 road map that she signed earlier this year with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The road map set out the objectives to be followed in terms of maritime security, cybersecurity and the fight against terrorism between the two regions.
In this regard, both leaders stressed on the need to start negotiations for a free trade agreement aimed at generating profits for businesses in both India and the UK, according to a statement by the Indian foreign ministry.
Truss took the opportunity to meet with Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bupender Yadav, and announce an investment package to support India’s ecological transition. EFE