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Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to Rishi Sunak, calls for early conclusion of FTA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke to his new United Kingdom counterpart Rishi Sunak and congratulated him on assuming charge, while seeking early conclusion of the India-UK foreign trade agreement (FTA).

Sunak responded to Modi’s tweet by thanking him for his “kind words”.

“Glad to speak to @RishiSunak today. Congratulated him on assuming charge as UK PM. We will work together to further strengthen our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. We also agreed on the importance of early conclusion of a comprehensive and balanced FTA,” Modi tweeted from his personal Twitter handle.

“Thank you Prime Minister @NarendraModi for your kind words as I get started in my new role. The UK and India share so much. I’m excited about what our two great democracies can achieve as we deepen our security, defence and economic partnership in the months & years ahead,” Sunak tweeted in response to Modi’s tweet.

The FTA between India and UK has been hanging fire as talks between the two sides got delayed after Liz Truss had abruptly resigned as Prime Minister after being in office for just 45 days.

Earlier, then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had set Diwali as deadline for finalising the FTA.

Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is scheduled to begin his visit to India from Friday, and will hold talks with his counterpart S. Jaishankar.

The two leaders will discuss strengthening of diplomatic ties, Britain’s Foreign Office said on Thursday.

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