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UK Minister of State Lord Tariq Ahmed to arrive in India for Raisina Dialogue

UK Minister of State, Lord Tariq Ahmed (File Photo)

The UK Minister of State for the Middle East, South Asia and the United Nations Lord Tariq Ahmad will arrive in India on Wednesday to lead the UK delegation to Raisina Dialogue. In the event, he will reaffirm the UK’s commitment to a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.

At India’s flagship foreign policy conference scheduled to be held from February 21-23, Lord Tariq Ahmed will underscore that prosperity and security of the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific are inseparable, the British High Commission in India said in a press release. He will emphasise that the UK is committed to working with partners to play a constructive leadership role in tackling the long-term drivers of conflict.

Ahmed will speak about the UK and its allies being clear about standing up for freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade. He will also mark the second anniversary of Russian military action in Ukraine, which has underlined the link between Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific security.

In the press release, the British High Commission in India stated, “Strengthening the UK-India relationship is a key pillar of the UK’s long-term foreign policy, as part of its enduring engagement in the Indo-Pacific set out in the Integrated Review Refresh. ”

The UK delegation at this year’s Raisina Dialogue includes First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sir Ben Key. In addition to his participation at the Raisina Dialogue, Admiral Key will participate in a series of high-level meetings with the senior leadership of the Indian Armed Forces to review progress on various aspects of the UK-India defence partnership and exchange views on global security challenges.

In the press release, Lord Tariq Ahmed stated, “Against a backdrop of rising conflict and instability, the UK’s commitment to a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific is enduring.”

“The UK-India relationship is at the heart of that commitment, which is not just about rhetoric or slogans; it is happening now and is set to improve lives across the UK and the region for years to come,” he added.

On the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue, Lord Tariq Ahmed will discuss how to ease the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza with key figures in the Middle East.

His meeting with leaders of the Middle East follows his visit to the region last week to push for an immediate stop in fighting to allow humanitarian aid in and hostages out and act as a pathway to a sustainable and permanent ceasefire.

He will participate in a plenary with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Lord Tariq Ahmed will meet key counterparts from the Indian government, including Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra and Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, to highlight the strong UK-India trade partnership and embrace new opportunities to collaborate, including on energy.

During the meeting, the two sides will discuss progress towards an ambitious trade deal, for which there is strong political will on both sides, according to a British High Commission press release.

India’s high-profile conference on geopolitics and geo-economics, the Raisina Dialogue, is set to convene its 9th edition from February 21 to 23.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the conference is dedicated to tackling pressing issues confronting the global community and will witness the inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 21.

The MEA release reads, “The inaugural session will feature the presence of the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic (Greece), Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who will deliver the keynote address as the Chief Guest.”

With representation from over 100 nations, the 9th Raisina Dialogue will gather a diverse array of participants including Ministers, former Heads of State and Government, military commanders, industry leaders, technology innovators, scholars, and youth.

Under the theme “Chaturanga: Conflict, Contest, Cooperate, Create,” the 2024 edition will foster dialogue and engagement across six thematic pillars: Tech Frontiers, Peace with the Planet, War & Peace, Decolonising Multilateralism, the 2030 Agenda, and Defending Democracy.