New Delhi, May 5 (PTI) The outcomes of the India-UK virtual summit have marked a transformation in the bilateral relationship as it paved the way for expansion of cooperation in a range of areas like trade and investment, climate change and migration, British High Commissioner Alex Ellis said on Wednesday.
At the summit on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson unveiled a 'Roadmap 2030' to elevate ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and announced enhanced trade cooperation.
Under the trade partnership, the two sides are to begin negotiations later this year for a balanced free trade agreement including an interim pact for delivering early gains.
'The summit and the agreements have marked a transformation in the UK-India relationship,' he said at a virtual media briefing.
Ellis said the summit reflected the resolve of both sides to make a new beginning of deeper cooperation in a plethora of areas.
On the implementation of the partnership on migration and mobility, the high commissioner said its provisions will be implemented under an efficient mechanism.
He said the UK wants its expeditious implementation but at the same time added that the process has to be carried forward ensuring that it is legally correct.
The India-UK migration and mobility partnership, finalised on Tuesday, provides for enhanced employment opportunities for around 3,000 Indian professionals annually, but it mandates New Delhi to take back the Indians who have been staying illegally in Britain.
At a media briefing, Joint Secretary in the Europe West division in the Ministry of External Affairs Sandeep Chakravorty said after the summit that Indian nationals who are undocumented, or are in distress abroad and not being given nationality or residence permits, have to be taken back.
Asked about two members of the Indian delegation attending the G7 foreign ministers' meeting in London testing positive for COVID-19, the high commissioner did not give a direct reply.
'These are questions better answered by my colleagues in London,' he said, adding there are laid down protocols in dealing with such situations.
He said the approach by the UK authorities will be guided by the advice of Public Health England.
To a query on distribution in India of COVID-19 medical aid provided by the UK, he said the supplies were brought in as specified by the Indian authorities.
He said the issue of medical aid is being coordinated through the Indian government as well as through the Indian Red Cross Society.
Ellis said the Indian authorities are in a better position to decide where the supplies are sent.
On the coronavirus situation in India, he said Britain had also faced a similar scenario. PTI MPB RT RT