British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has canceled his planned visit to India next week due to the coronavirus situation in the country, Downing Street reported on Monday. Johnson will instead speak to Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month to launch their plans for a future UK-India partnership, with their physical meeting expected later in the year.
In a joint statement issued on behalf of the British and Indian governments, Downing Street said, “Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be able to visit India next week in light of the current coronavirus situation.
Instead, Prime Minister Modi and Johnson will speak later this month to agree on and launch their ambitious plans for a future partnership between the UK and India.
They will be in regular contact outside of this, and will look forward to meeting in person later this year, ”the statement said.
The pressure from Johnson to close the tour was seen as a growing concern in the country over the new type of COVD-19.
Over the weekend, the UK’s opposition Labor Party joined in calling for the cancellation of the long-distance talks and the cancellation of the physical examination through Zoom, which had already been shortened to focus on one-day preparations on Monday, April 2.
The two sides were supposed to agree on a roadmap for 2030 to re-establish Indo-UK relations through trade and investment and climate action, which is now expected to be signed directly later this month.
The visit, previously postponed to the Republic Day tour in January, was Johnson’s first major bilateral trip outside Europe since the UK general election in December 2019 and the end of the Brexit transition in late December 2020.