The UK Prime Minister cited the prevailing Covid-19 situation in his country as the reason

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed his inability to visit India to become Chief Guest of the Republic Day celebrations in view of prevailing COVID-19 situation in his country.

“Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his thanks for India's invitation for him as the Chief Guest of the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations, but regretted his inability to attend in view of the changed COVID-19 context prevailing in the UK. He reiterated his keenness to visit India in the near future,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

“Prime Minister (Modi) expressed his understanding of the exceptional situation in the UK, and conveyed his best wishes for the quick control of the pandemic spread. He looked forward to receiving Prime Minister Johnson in India at the earliest opportunity after normalisation of the situation,” the Ministry added.

During the conversation, the two leaders reviewed ongoing cooperation between both countries, including in the area of making COVID-19 vaccines available for the world.

“They reiterated their shared belief in the potential of the India-UK partnership in the post-BREXIT, post-COVID context, and agreed to work towards a comprehensive roadmap for realising this potential,” the MEA said.