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Rajnath Singh arrives in UK; to discuss defence, security issues with his UK counterpart

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

London [UK]: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has arrived in the United Kingdom on Monday night.

During his visit, the defence minister will discuss bilateral issues with his counterpart, Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in an official press release.

Notably, this marks the first visit of a sitting Indian Defence Minister to the UK in 23 years.

The Defence Minister would be accompanied by a high-level Ministry of Defence delegation, comprising senior officials from DRDO, Service Headquarters, the Department of Defence, and the Department of Defence Production.

As per the Ministry, both leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of defence, security and industrial cooperation issues.

Rajnath Singh is also expected to call on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and hold a meeting with Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs David Cameron.

He will further interact with the CEOs and industry leaders of the UK defence industry and meet with the Indian community there.

Notably, India and the UK are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Talks for FTA between India and the UK started in 2022 and the 12th round of negotiations took place from August 8-31 this year.

The India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched in 2021 along with the India-UK Roadmap 2030, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. The Roadmap is a commitment to a partnership that delivers for both countries.