Boris, Modi talk vaccine certification, Afghan situation

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The telephone conversation came four days after the UK announced that Indian travellers fully vaccinated with both doses of Covishield or any other vaccine approved by it will not need to undergo a 10-day mandatory quarantine on arrival from October 11, reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Monday held a telephone conversation during which they welcomed the UK’s recognition of Indian vaccine certification and agreed on the need for a coordinated international approach to engage with the Taliban, according to a statement by the UK.

The telephone conversation came four days after the UK announced that Indian travellers fully vaccinated with both doses of Covishield or any other vaccine approved by it will not need to undergo a 10-day mandatory quarantine on arrival from October 11.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said the two leaders reviewed the progress in bilateral relations since their virtual summit earlier this year, and expressed satisfaction at the steps initiated under the Roadmap 2030 adopted during the virtual summit. They also reviewed the progress of the Enhanced Trade Partnership and agreed on the potential of rapidly expanding trade and investment linkages between both countries, it said.

It said the leaders held discussion on issues related to climate change, in the context of the coming UNFCCC COP-26 meeting in Glasgow in November. PM Modi conveyed India’s commitment to climate action, as seen in its target for expansion of renewable energy and the recently announced National Hydrogen Mission.

The leaders exchanged views on regional developments, especially the situation in Afghanistan. In this context, they agreed on the need to develop a common international perspective on issues regarding extremism and terrorism, as well as human rights and rights of women and minorities.

The British statement said the two prime ministers discussed the shared fight against coronavirus and the importance of opening up travel. “They agreed the UK’s recognition of Indian vaccine certification is a welcome development to that end,” it said. According to the statement shared with journalists by the British High Commission here, the two leaders discussed the strength of the UK-India relationship and climate action in the context of the coming COP-26 in Glasgow. “The leaders talked about the current situation in Afghanistan. They agreed on the need for a coordinated international approach to engagement with the Taliban, emphasising the importance of upholding human rights in the country,” it said.

The PMs welcomed the progress made on the 2030 Roadmap since it was agreed by Johnson and Modi in May. “This includes area0s such as trade and defence. The leaders looked forward to the upcoming visit of the UK Carrier Strike Group to India and the deepening of the UK-India strategic partnership,” it said.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said, “Was a pleasure to speak to Prime Minister @BorisJohnson. We reviewed progress on the India-UK Agenda 2030, exchanged views on climate action in the context of the forthcoming COP-26 in Glasgow, and shared our assessments on regional issues including Afghanistan.”

The leaders also looked forward to the upcoming visit of the UK carrier strike group led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth to India and the deepening of the bilateral strategic partnership.

They had an extensive discussion on issues related to climate change in the context of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow in November. Modi conveyed India’s commitment to climate action, as reflected in New Delhi’s ambitious target for expanding renewable energy and the new National Hydrogen Mission.

Johnson “underlined the importance of making concrete progress on climate change ahead of and at the upcoming COP26 Summit”, and noted that India already leads the world in renewable technology. Johnson also expressed his hope that India “will commit to a more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution and to achieving Net Zero emissions”, the readout said.

The UK announced last week that it will begin accepting India’s vaccine certificates from October 11, ending a travel row that resulted in British nationals facing a 10-day mandatory quarantine on arrival even if they are fully vaccinated.

British high commissioner Alex Ellis has said there will be “no quarantine” for Indian travellers who were fully vaccinated with Covishield or any other UK-approved vaccine.

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