Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 17
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to participate in the first in-person G7 summit in almost two years to be held in the Cornwall region from June 11 to 13.
Johnson also plans to visit India before the summit after having to cancel his attendance at the Republic Day parade due to a surge of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.
This year the UK has also invited leaders from Australia and South Korea amidst talk of expanding the grouping to include the three countries as well. The issue of G-7 expansion has been expressed in various variants and India and Australia are among the two countries that have been mentioned in all of them.
The attendance of India, Australia and South Korea will deepen the expertise and experience around the table and assist Johnson’s ambition to use the G-7 to intensify cooperation between the world’s democratic and technologically advanced nations. Between them, the ten leaders represent over 60 per cent of the people living in democracies around the world, noted a UK High Commission statement here.
Billed as a conclave of world’s leading democracies, the invitation to India, Australia and South Korea is a “testament to the UK’s commitment to ensuring multilateral institutions better reflect today’s world.”
The UK was the first P5 member to support a permanent UNSC seat for India and the first G7 member to invite India to a G7 Summit in 2005, said the statement.
As ‘pharmacy of the world’, India already supplies more than 50 per cent of the world’s vaccines, and the UK and India have worked closely together throughout the pandemic.
As current BRICS President and G20 President in 2023, India will play a key role in driving in multilateral cooperation helping to build back better around the world.
The UK will also host a number of meetings throughout the year between Ministers from the G7, both virtually and in different locations across the country. These ministerial summits will cover economic, environmental, health, trade, technology, development and foreign policy issues.
2021 marks a crucial year of international leadership for the UK. In addition to the G7 Summit, during February the UK will assume the Presidency of the UN Security Council, and later this year the UK will host COP26 in Glasgow and a global education conference aimed at getting children in the developing world into school.
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