Jaishankar meets new foreign secretary Cameron: ‘Look forward to working closely’
The meeting came hours after prime minister Rishi Sunak appointed the former premier back into the frontline government as his new foreign secretary in a dramatic reshuffle of his cabinet.
Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar with the UK’s newly appointed foreign secretary David Cameron in London on Monday, November 13, 2023. (ANI Photo)
INDIAN external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Monday (13) met David Cameron, the UK’s newly appointed foreign secretary, in London and held detailed talks on realising the full potential of the two nations’ bilateral strategic partnership.
The meeting came hours after prime minister Rishi Sunak appointed the former premier back into the frontline government as his new foreign secretary in a dramatic reshuffle of his cabinet ahead of the next general elections.
Against the backdrop of the reshuffle which saw Suella Braverman being replaced as home secretary by former foreign secretary James Cleverly, Jaishankar congratulated Cameron on his surprise return to frontline politics having stepped down as British prime minister in the wake of the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
Jaishankar said he discussed a range of subjects during his bilateral talks at the foreign, commonwealth and development office in London, covering ongoing global conflicts and the Indo-Pacific region.
“A pleasure to meet UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron this afternoon on his first day in office,” Jaishankar posted on X along with images of the interaction.
“Congratulated him on his appointment. Held a detailed discussion on realising the full potential of our strategic partnership,” he said. He added that he also exchanged views on the situation in West Asia, the Ukraine conflict and the Indo-Pacific with Cameron.
“Look forward to working with him closely,” the minister, who met Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty at 10 Downing Street on the occasion of Diwali on Sunday (12), added. His wife Kyoko Jaishankar accompanied him.
After their meeting, Jaishankar gifted Sunak, a cricket fan, a bat signed by Indian batting legend Virat Kohli and a statue of Lord Ganesha.
“Delighted to call on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Diwali Day. Conveyed the best wishes of PM Narendra Modi. India and UK are actively engaged in reframing the relationship for contemporary times. Thank Mr and Mrs Sunak for their warm reception and gracious hospitality,” Jaishankar posted on social media after the meeting.
Downing Street’s corresponding post read, “The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed Dr Jaishankar to Downing Street this evening. Together they expressed their very best wishes as Indian communities around the world begin Diwali celebrations.”
Jaishankar then headed to the BAPS Swaminarayan Neasden Temple in north London, where he performed ‘abhishek’ before addressing the Diwali assembly in the prayer hall.
The Indian diplomat is on a five-day official trip to review progress of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and the UK and hold meetings with his British counterpart.
Jaishankar also met former prime minister Tony Blair.
“Nice to catch up with former UK PM Tony Blair this morning. Discussed our bilateral ties, the West Asia situation and Africa,” he posted on X.
On Monday evening, Jaishankar was scheduled to address the diaspora at a special Diwali Reception organised by the High Commission of India in London.
(With PTI inputs)