EAM Jaishankar terms UK as ‘solid friend’
EAM S Jaishankar has described the just concluded India-UK summit as “transformational” for the two countries
“There were four big outcomes, there was a very, very detailed roadmap for the relationship till 2030 which we have worked out which pretty much covers all the aspects of India UK could be doing,” EAM Jaishankar said in an interview with ANI in London.
“There is an enhanced trade partnership which envisages a free trade agreement and which provides for some immediate economic trade gains for both parties. There was a global innovation partnership, because as you know the UK has very strong technology and innovation skills and programs, this is something where we have worked together in the past,” he said.
“We are trying to take it forward and I myself signed the fourth outcome that is a migration and mobility partnership agreement with home secretary Preeti Patel. It provides for more legal flows of migration and mobility and it encourages talent flow between the two countries, that’s very important because when we look, whether its manufacturing, whether it is knowledge economy, education, the ability of people to work after education, these are all aspects which are very important, “the EAM added.
Stating that India and the UK have undergone changes at the policies level, he said, “From October actually 58 thousand more Indians have qualified to come to the UK. So this is the relationship, in fact, to use Prime Minister Boris Johnson's words, we are not looking at something evolutionary we are looking at something transformational.
Describing the UK as a “solid friend” he said, “We are getting oxygen plants, concentrators, cylinders to address the oxygen challenge, cryogenic tanks and you of course know the vaccine collaboration we have, covishield is the outcome of that which is the main vaccine that is made in India. Our scientists are working together on sequencing as well.”
As regarding G-7 foreign ministers’ meeting agenda, the EAM said Covid-19 pandemic will be agenda, “my message going to G7 is this is a global challenge and everybody knows that all of you have been through it, we are going through it right now, there are various factors and reasons why it is serious and severe as it is and global pandemic requires global effort.”
EAM Jaishankar expressed his sadness at the political colour given to the crisis in India. “People have spoken about elections, now, obviously we are a democratic country. You don’t stop elections in a place like India, the only time I remember we stopped elections is an era some decades ago when I was pretty much younger, where none of us really want to be associated with that kind of memory. Now, we are a democracy, we are a very argumentative society, there will be this kind of point scoring. Somebody will say this crowd contributed to it, somebody else will say well that crowd contributed to it, somebody will say that some individual or leader.”
“Somebody will say leader B didn’t wear a mask there. So I would say when I go out, in my sense and my view, I think we need to put a pause to it. We have a serious national crisis. The fact is that societies are defined by their ability to come together when you deal with a crisis of this magnitude, it’s like a war, what happens when there is a war, people come together as a society. So I would hope very much that we should do it. I realize when it comes to the press, our press, foreign press, people will focus on us, it’s natural. People in governance would understand the problem, because everybody has been through it or says well that could be me tomorrow.”