United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cancelled his upcoming India visit due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday, April 19.
In response to the media queries on the upcoming visit of the UK PM, the MEA stated, “In view of the prevailing Covid situation, it has been decided by mutual agreement that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom will not visit India next week.” The official statement added that the two sides will be holding a virtual meeting in the coming days to launch plans for a transformed India-U.K. relationship. Johnson’s visit to India was scheduled for April 26 and would have been his first visit abroad since the UK left the European Union. The Prime Minister’s spokesperson at 10 Downing Street had recently said, “We have been in close contact with the Indian government about the Prime Minister’s upcoming visit in light of the Covid situation in India. As a result of these discussions, the Prime Minister has made the decision to reduce the length of the visit, due to take place at the end of this month, to a shorter programme in New Delhi.”
Johnson was scheduled to visit India from April 25 on his first major visit to a non-European country since the re-election of the Conservative government in the UK general elections held in December 2019. The UK is hosting the G7 summit in June where Prime Minister Modi is a special invitee. COP 26 is also scheduled to take place later in the year in the UK.