British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressed his inability to visit India later this month to attend the Republic Day celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation in his country.
“Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his thanks for India’s invitation for him as the chief guest of the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations but regretted his inability to attend in view of the changed Covid-19 context prevailing in the UK. He reiterated his keenness to visit India in the near future,” according to an official communication from the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday.
The Indian PM expressed his understanding of the exceptional situation in the UK and conveyed his best wishes for the quick control of the pandemic spread. “He looked forward to receiving Prime Minister Johnson in India at the earliest opportunity after normalisation of the situation,” the release added.
Johnson placed his country under a new national lockdown this week following the spread of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus.
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Johnson and Modi reviewed ongoing cooperation between both countries, including in the area of making Covid-19 vaccines available for the world. “They reiterated their shared belief in the potential of the India-UK partnership in the post-Brexit, post-Covid context, and agreed to work towards a comprehensive roadmap for realising this potential,” the release said.