PMs Modi, Sunak agree on need for early conclusion of trade talks

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with his UK counterpart Rishi Sunak on Thursday, during which the two leaders agreed on the need for early conclusion of a mutually beneficial free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
The discussions between the two Prime Ministers on the FTA have taken place amid reports in certain sections of British media that India had threatened to stall trade talks over the attack on its High Commission’s office in London last week.
Both sides had later denied the reports.
In fact, sources said that Modi, during his conversation with Sunak, raised the issue of security of Indian diplomatic establishments in the UK and called for strong action against anti-India elements by the UK government.
Sunak conveyed that the UK considers the attack on Indian High Commission totally unacceptable and assured of security of the Indian mission and its personnel.
Meanwhile, official sources said that both Modi and Sunak reviewed the progress on a number of bilateral issues as part of the India-UK Roadmap 2030.
They expressed satisfaction at the recent high-level exchanges and growing cooperation, particularly in trade and economic sectors.
Modi also raised the issue of economic offenders who have sought refuge in the UK.
He sought progress on the return of these fugitives so that they can appear before the Indian judicial system.
Modi invited Sunak for the G20 summit to be held in September 2023.
The British Prime Minister appreciated the progress made under India’s presidency of the G20 and reiterated the UK’s full support to India’s initiatives and their success.

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