Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 23 (ANI): UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss visited HMS Queen Elizabeth in Mumbai on Saturday.
According to a British High Commission release, "During her visit, the Foreign Secretary will progress talks to ramp up defence and security ties and boost strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. It will take forward joint work agreed by the Prime Minister and Indian Prime Minister Modi in the landmark 2030 Roadmap on maritime security, cyber security and counter-terrorism signed earlier this year. She will also discuss developing innovative security and defence tech with the Indian government to tackle common threats and will talk through strengthening defence-related trade between the two countries."
"The ship is the spearhead of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG), a symbol of the UK's world-leading defence capability, whose visit to Mumbai is a clear sign of our growing defence and maritime co-operation with India. While in India the CSG is taking part in the most demanding exercise ever between undertaken between the UK and India, involving all three military service," according to British High commission release.
UK Foreign Secretary Truss said: "Closer defence and security partnerships between the UK and India underpin deeper economic ties and make both countries, as well as the wider region, safer. We need to protect our sea and trade routes and, operating from a position of strength, be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices.
"The arrival of the Carrier Strike Group in India this weekend represents the UK's Indo-Pacific tilt in action. This is a true symbol of Global Britain, working closely with like-minded partners like India," she added.
The Foreign Secretary sees developing this security and defence relationship with India, the world's largest democracy, as a key part of the UK's Indo-Pacific tilt. She wants to strengthen such links with fast-growing economies and like-minded partners in the region and build "a network of liberty" around the globe. The Foreign Secretary sees India as essential in ensuring a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific," the release further added.
Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter is also visiting Mumbai to see the Carrier Strike Group in action. He joined his Indian counterpart General Bipin Rawat in Delhi to discuss regional security and laid a commemorative wreath at the National War Museum.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "A strengthened partnership with India is a key pillar of the UK's tilt to the Indo-Pacific. Our Carrier Strike group visit represents an important step towards our goal of establishing a maritime partnership with India in support of mutual security objectives in the Indian Ocean."
The Foreign Secretary will also visit the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai today to lay a wreath at the memorial for those killed in the 2008 terrorist attacks.
This evening, she will welcome senior business leaders and guests from the world of education, film, sport and politics onto HMS Defender, a Type 45 Destroyer, where the UK will showcase its world-leading tech and innovation in defence, healthcare, science and climate. (ANI)