For rules-based order in IOR, work with India: Rajnath Singh to Rishi Sunak | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Underlining its increasing strategic heft and position to become an effective counter to China in the Indo-Pacific, India has told the UK and other like-minded countries to work with it to strengthen and ensure a peaceful and stable global rules-based order.
Conveying this message to British PM Rishi Sunak during a meeting at 10 Downing Street in on Wednesday, defence minister Rajnath Singh said, “We discussed issues pertaining to defence, economic cooperation and how India and the UK could work together for strengthening a peaceful and stable global rules-based order.”
The shared commitment among like-minded nations to ensure a free, open and rules-based order would include “partnering India in its inexorable rise, which can be strengthened, reinforced and speeded up with friendly collaboration”, he said.The UK has expressed its keenness to work closely with India as a key strategic partner in enhancing maritime security in the crucial Indo-Pacific, especially the Indian Ocean Region. Towards this end, its “high-readiness littoral response group” will be deployed to IOR this year, while its carrier strike group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth will follow in 2025. Both will visit and operate with Indian forces.
Indian officials said Sunak fully agreed with Singh on the need for UK and India to work in the domains of trade, defence and technology, while he also expressed hope that the ongoing bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations would be brought to a successful conclusion soon. The 14th and final round of FTA negotiations between the two countries is now underway.
Sunak underlined his government’s keenness to strengthen the defence and security pillar of the relationship with India, including through backing stronger bilateral business and technology partnerships.

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