As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take over from Donald Trump next week, the United Kingdom has sent a clear message that Trump’s policy of engaging and deepening ties with India should continue as the UK has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the upcoming G7 summit slated to take place in the country later this year in June.
In a significant development, the UK has officially invited PM Modi to attend the G7 summit which is scheduled to be held in the country’s Cornwall region in June. For the uninitiated, the G7 is a grouping of world’s leading democratic economies and comprises of — UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA — and the European Union. This year’s G7 summit will discuss the Wuhan virus pandemic, climate change and open trade.
“The G7 Summit will be held in Carbis Bay, Cornwall on 11-13 June 2021. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the UK’s G7 Presidency to unite leading democracies to help the world fight, and then build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future. The UK has invited Australia, India and South Korea as guest countries to this year’s G7,” a press statement read.
Additionally, much to the chagrin of the Opposition parties, UK PM Boris Johnson earlier had to cancel his Republic Day visit over the rising cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in the UK amidst the discovery of a new mutant strain, will also visit India “ahead of the G7 summit,” according to the press statement. It is pertinent to note that apart from India, Australia and South Korea have also been invited to the summit. Australia and India’s inclusion will particularly not go down well with China, as both the countries have emerged as a major thorn in China’s efforts to emerge as the world’s sole superpower in the post-pandemic era.
The press statement read, “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 added that India, Australia and South Korea have been invited to “deepen the expertise and experience around the table.”
The statement also shed light on the deepening ties between the UK and India as it 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.”
In a thinly-veiled dig at China, the statement quoted UK PM Johnson as saying, “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.”
India was also an invitee at G7 summit held in 2019 at Biarritz in South-western France, as PM Narendra Modi was invited to attend it as a special guest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Last year’s G7 summit was deferred by POTUS Trump as he stated, “I’m postponing it because I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world.”
The UK has sent a clear message to the incoming Biden Presidency — India will remain a core player in rebuilding the world in the post-pandemic era.