Dominic Raab will hold talks with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday

As speculations loom over British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit as Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, India is all set to welcome British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab on Monday. He will be here till Thursday.

According to an official statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, Raab will meet and hold talks with External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on December 15. Talks will see both sides discussing bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The visit can also be seen as a review of the progress made in the effort to draw up a 10-year roadmap for a ‘quantum leap’ in the relationship between the two countries. The countries are also expected to finalise the defence logistics agreement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month tweeted about his conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and mentioned about the quantum leap.

He had written, “Had an excellent discussion with my friend, UK PM @BorisJohnson on an ambitious roadmap for India-UK ties in the next decade. We agreed to work towards a quantum leap in our cooperation in all areas – trade & investment, defence & security, climate change, and fighting Covid-19.”

During his four day visit, the UK State Secretary for foreign Affairs will also meet the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar and the Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal.

Raab is also scheduled to meet the Chief Minister of Bengaluru on the last day of his visit on December 17.

As the world opens economy, India is also opening itself for the world and discussing ways to enhance the bilateral relationships with other countries in the post-COVID era.

Hence, the visit by the British State Secretary for Foreign Affairs will pave the way for further strengthening of the partnership across trade, defence, climate, migration and mobility, education and health sectors in the post-COVID, post-Brexit context.

Amid this, many are seeing Raab’s visit to India as a precursor to British PM Boris Johnson’s visit to India as a chief guest during the Republic Day celebrations on January 26. Several media reports claimed that PM Modi extended his invitation to his British counterpart during his conversation with him on November 27.

However, the Ministry of External Affairs has not yet confirmed it.