Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson has accepted India’s invitation to be the chief guest at Republic Day on January 26, informed UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday. With this, Johnson is the second UK prime minister to attend the event after John Major in attended in 1993.
"UK PM Johnson has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India's Republic Day celebrations in January, which is a great honour," said Britain's foreign secretary. On his part, India's foreign minister S Jaishankar said Johnson accepting the invitation for the Republic Day was, in a way, symbolic of a new era in Indo-UK relationship.
Along with that, Raab also added that Johnson has invited PM Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year. Raab's three-day visit to India from December 14-17 comes at a time the UK is holding complex negotiations with the European Union on reaching a post-Brexit trade deal.
In the wake of Brexit, the UK has been looking at ramping up trade with leading economies like India. There have been worries that its separation from the European Union without a trade deal could severely cripple its financial markets and may have long-term implications for its economy.
The British foreign secretary is scheduled to meet Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.