Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day Parade in January 2021, the United Kingdom has confirmed. Visiting UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that PM Johnson has accepted India’s invite to be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade next month, during talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi.
According to reports, The invite was extended during the telephonic conversation that took place between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Johnson on November 27. During the same call, the UK PM had invited PM Modi to attend the G-7 Summit in Britain next year.
“I’m pleased that PM Boris Johnson has invited PM Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year. UK PM Johnson has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations in January, which is a great honour,” UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.
I’m pleased that PM Boris Johnson has invited PM Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year. UK PM Johnson has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations in January, which is a great honour: UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab https://t.co/GS1YTD0FeW pic.twitter.com/VPW7JsQrnQ
— ANI (@ANI) December 15, 2020
Johnson will be the first British PM to grace the Rajpath parade in 27 years. The last UK premier to be the chief guest at the January 26 parade was John Major in 1993.
India and the UK are looking to recast bilateral ties given Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) next year. The UK is seeking a trade and investment agreement with India that would help it forge an economic partnership with Asia’s third-largest economy and cushion it from the seemingly inevitable prospect of a hard “Brexit” or severance of ties from the EU. The EU now accounts for 47% of UK’s total trade.