India, Britain Discuss Technical, Infrastructure Cooperation Ahead of Climate Summit
File photo of Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar meeting UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in New York on Sept. 21. (ANI photo)
By ASHOK SHARMA
NEW DELHI (AP) — India and Britain on Oct. 22 discussed technical and infrastructure cooperation to help India grow in a clean and sustainable way and the possibility of New Delhi making what was described as an ambitious contribution at the upcoming U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, officials said.
Talks between British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar focused on enhancing cooperation in trade and investments, health care, climate change, science and innovation and defense and security, according to an External Affairs Ministry statement after they met in New Delhi.
They agreed to strengthen cooperation in West Asia and the Indo-Pacific, on countering terrorism and radical extremism, and addressing emerging challenges in the cybercrime and space domains, the statement said.
Truss and Jaishankar also reviewed a desire for unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and “the need for Afghan territory not to be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist attacks,” the statement said.
A statement issued by the British High Commission in New Delhi ahead of the talks said Truss planned to highlight the importance of making concrete progress on climate change.
Truss was expected to highlight India as a leader in renewable technology “and express her hope that they will commit to a more ambitious nationally determined contribution,” the high commission’s statement said.
“I want the U.K. and India to step up their partnership in critical areas like technology, investment, security and defense. India is the world’s largest democracy, a tech and economic powerhouse and a vital strategic partner for the U.K.,” Truss said, according to the commission statement.
The British statement also hinted at a $15.86 million British investment in two venture capital funds aimed at supporting India’s transition to cleaner energy, making use of the British expertise. Another $70 million British investment is expected to fund green tech infrastructure projects across India.
But there was no mention of possible British investments in the Indian statement issued after the talks between Truss and Jaishankar ended.
Truss is scheduled to visit Mumbai Oct. 23, India’s financial and entertainment hub, to participate in business and defense engagements held in connection with the visit of a British-led naval force Carrier Strike Group 21 to India. She is also scheduled to visit the memorial honoring the victims of the Mumbai 2008 terror attack.
During a virtual summit between the prime ministers of India and Britain in May, the two countries decided to further deepen the partnership across various sectors, India’s External Affairs Ministry said.
Closer ties in areas like tech and infrastructure are expected to deliver jobs and growth in both countries and boost their economies, the high commission statement said.