PM Modi expresses concern over new visa policy for Indians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his UK counterpart Theresa May at G20 summit meeting in China.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told his British counterpart Theresa May during their first meeting that Britain’s new visa policy could have a “negative impact” on Indian working professionals’ short term business visits to the UK.

Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, the two Prime Ministers also discussed further enhancement of bilateral defence partnership, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

“Prime Minister also touched on UK’s visa policy. In particular, he said that the new UK regulations could have negative impact on Indian working professionals wishing to visit UK for short term business visits,” Swarup said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his UK counterpart Theresa May at G20 summit meeting in China.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his UK counterpart Theresa May at G20 summit meeting in China.

The Prime Minister invited British firms to ‘Make in India’ as both leaders also looked forward to an early visit by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to the UK, he said.

During the meeting, Modi also spoke about challenges of terrorism, which he said is the “biggest threat to the world and knows no boundaries”. He alluded to May’s previous stint as Home Secretary and said she was well aware of the dangers of terrorism, Swarup told the press.

PM Modi said that the recent meeting of the India-UK joint group on counter terrorism was very useful and called for greater collaboration in cyber security and intelligence sharing besides information gathering.

May said she was very keen to support Prime Minister Modi’s vision for India and the broader strategic partnership including the decisions taken during his successful visit to Britain last November.

She also underlined the importance Britain attaches to the Indian diaspora.

This was their first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders after May took over as the Prime Minister following the resignation of David Cameron after Britain’s exit from the European Union. “The Prime Minister underlined that even after the Brexit, the UK remained as important to India as before,” he said.

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