LONDON: Narendra Modi after being the first Prime Minister to visit Sweden in last 30 years arrived in London on Wednesday. At 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister Modi will have a breakfast meeting with the British PM Theresa May. Both the leaders are expected to discuss multiple issues including cross-border terrorism, visas, and immigration.
As per the officials, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the return of illegal immigrants, which had expired in 2014, will be officially renewed to take into account biometric and other developments in the field, along with a range of nearly a dozen MoUs across different sectors.
A senior Indian official said that “A slew of agreements will be signed between India and the UK during the bilateral leg of the visit today. This is a relationship that cuts across all sectors and has reached a very mature level. The prime minister’s visit is about what more we can do to build on that”.
With a day full of official visits PM Modi after meeting the British PM is set to visit the Science Museum in London to explore the ‘5000 Years of Science and Innovation’ exhibition and interact with Indian-origin and other scientists and innovators based in the UK.
The next stop for him is an event hosted by Prince Charles on the launch of a new Ayurvedic Centre of Excellence, aimed at creating a first-of-its-kind global network for evidence-based research on yoga and Ayurveda.
Later the Indian PM will stop to garland the Basaveshwara statue on the banks of the river Thames, which he had inaugurated during his last visit to the UK in 2015, followed by the second meeting with Theresa May at an event hosted by the British prime minister at the Francis Crick Institute.
Following an interaction with Indian-origin scientists working on cancer research, malaria and other tropical diseases, both leaders will initiate the India-UK CEOs Forum. An India-UK Tech Alliance is also expected to be among the announcements during the day.
Modi is also scheduled for a private audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace before the Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath Diaspora event, which is to be telecast live from the iconic Central Hall Westminster in London.
The event billed as the centrepiece of the ‘Living Bridge’ theme of the India-UK bilateral visit, will involve Modi addressing questions from across the world which have already been received via social media.
At the end of the live telecast, he will join Heads of Government from 52 other Commonwealth countries at a dinner hosted by the British prime minister as a formal welcome to CHOGM.
This will be followed by the executive session of the heads in London tomorrow before they head to Windsor for the CHOGM retreat, where the world leaders will interact on an informal basis.
This will conclude Modi’s UK visit after which he will leave for India.