Forced To Call Off Visit, Boris Johnson Greets India On 72nd Republic Day

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London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK and India are working together to fight the coronavirus battle. Johnson said this in a special reference to vaccine collaboration in a Republic Day message to India on Tuesday.

Johnson was expected to be in the national capital as the chief guest at the annual parade to mark India’s 72nd Republic Day. The British PM had to cancel his visit to focus on the domestic challenges posed by the emergence of a new, deadlier variant of coronavirus in the UK.

In a video message to celebrate the birth of an “extraordinary Constitution” that established India “as the biggest sovereign democracy in the world”, Johnson reiterated his plan to visit India in the coming months, reported news agency PTI.

“I was hugely looking forward to joining you for this important occasion at the kind invitation of my friend Prime Minister Modi, alas our common struggle against COVID has kept me in London,” Johnson was quoted as saying by the agency.

“As I speak, our two countries are working side by side to develop, produce and distribute vaccines that will help to free humanity from the pandemic. And thanks to the combined efforts of Britain, India and many other nations, we are on the road to success against COVID. So, I look forward to visiting India later this year, strengthening our friendship, and striving for the quantum leap in our relationship that Prime Minister Modi and I have both pledged to achieve,” the UK prime minister said.

“All over the world, this virus is compelling people to stay apart, including family and friends in Britain and India, who form what Prime Minister Modi has called the “living bridge” between us. But for now, let me wish everyone in India as well as those celebrating here in Britain, a very happy Republic Day,” the British prime minister added while addressing the Indians in the UK.

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