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Boris Johnson to be chief guest at Republic Day parade

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New Delhi, Dec 15 – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade here next month.

It was announced by the British foreign secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday after holding talks with External Affairs minister Dr. S Jaishankar.

Addressing a joint press conference after the talks, Dr Jaishankar said the two sides held discussions on a wide range of issues and focus has been on how to take the bilateral ties to a higher level.

“In recent years as you know, there have been massive changes in global politics and we both believe that our interests are better served by working together more effectively,” he said.

The Minister said that important issues, including the situation in Afghanistan as also developments in Gulf and evolution of the Indo-Pacific region came up for discussion.

He said that challenges posed by terrorism and radicalism which are shared concerns were also discussed.

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year. The UK Prime Minister has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations (as a chief guest) in January which is a great honor,” the UK foreign secretary said.

Dr Jaishankar said that Johnson accepting the invitation for the Republic Day was, in a way, symbolic of a new era in Indo-UK ties.

Raab’s three-day visit to India from December 14-17 comes when the UK is holding negotiations with the European Union on reaching a post-Brexit trade deal.

The British foreign secretary will also travel to Bengaluru where he will meet Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa on December 17.

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