UK Invites PM Modi For G7, Says Boris Johnson To Visit India “Ahead” Of Summit

G7: Apart from India, Australia and South Korea have also been invited (File)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited by the United Kingdom to attend the G7 summit to be held in the country’s Cornwall region in June. The group that includes the world’s seven leading democratic economies — UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA — and the European Union, will discuss global issues like the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and open trade. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who had cancelled his India visit for this year’s Republic Day event because of the detection of the mutant strain of the virus in Britain, is likely to visit the country “ahead of the G7”, a press statement read.

Apart from India, Australia and South Korea have also been invited to the summit.

“UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the first in-person G7 summit in almost two years to ask leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener and more prosperous,” the statement read.

The three countries have been invited to the summit as guests to “deepen the expertise and experience around the table.”

Highlighting the growing cooperation between India and the United Kingdom over the fight against the coronavirus, the statement read: “As ‘pharmacy of the world’, India already supplies more than 50% of the world’s vaccines, and the UK and India have worked closely together throughout the pandemic. Our Prime Ministers speak regularly and Prime Minister Johnson has said he will visit India ahead of the G7”.

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“Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced. It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future,” the statement quoted Mr Johnson as saying.

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The centre had suspended flight operations between India and the United Kingdom for over two weeks because of the new strain, which was first detected in the European country. Mr Johnson, who had accepted to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, cancelled his visit soon after announcing a nation-wide shutdown over the virus.

“In light of the national lockdown announced last night, and the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading, the Prime Minister said that it was important for him to remain in the UK so he can focus on the domestic response to the virus,” a UK government statement had said earlier this month.

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