More than two months after calling off his visit to India for Republic Day celebrations, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a spring trip to New Delhi in April. This was announced by his office on Tuesday.
In a statement, the 10 Downing Street said that Johnson's visit to India at the end of April will “unlock opportunities in the region” as part of his government’s “tilt to the Indo-Pacific”.
This will be the British Prime Minister first major international visit following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.
Johnson was earlier slated to be the chief guest at India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26, but he cancelled his visit then amid a surge in Covid cases at home.
"The (British) Prime Minister spoke to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi this morning, to express his regret that he will be unable to visit India later this month as planned," his spokesperson told the media then.
"In light of the lockdown announced... , and the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading, the Prime Minister said that it was important for him to remain in the UK so he can focus on the domestic response to the virus," the spokesperson had said.
Johnson accepted India's invitation to attend the Republic Day parade in December 2020.
"I am absolutely delighted to be visiting India next year at the start of an exciting year for Global Britain, and look forward to delivering the quantum leap in our bilateral relationship that Prime Minister Modi and I have pledged to achieve," he had said in a statement.
"The British PM will use his visit to India to boost cooperation in areas that matter to the UK and that will be priorities for our international engagement throughout 2021 -- from trade and investment, to defence and security, and health and climate change," his office had said.
India honours January 26 every year, the day on which the country's Constitution came into effect in 1950, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document and thus, turning the nation into a newly formed republic.