Britain, India sign defence cooperation deal

Britain, India sign defence cooperation deal

Britain and India signed a new defence cooperation agreement and will try to complete a free trade deal by the end of the year, their leaders said after a meeting in New Delhi on Friday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the agreement would help move New Delhi away from its dependence on Russia by expanding economic and defence ties with the West, including British support for India manufacturing its weapons domestically.

An India-specific open general export license is needed to slash delivery times for weapons and other defence items.

Only the United States and the European Union have such licenses.

According to the British High Commission, the next-generation defence and security collaboration across land, sea, air, space and cyber was part of the British offer.

The country will move away from its dependence on Russian-made weapons with support for new Indian-designed and built fighter jets.

His relations have never been as good between us, he said.

The two leaders also spoke about the war in Ukraine and called for an immediate ceasefire.

Soon after his arrival in India on Thursday, Johnson said he was aware of the close ties that India and Russia shared.

He said I'll be talking about it to Narendra Modi.

While India has condemned the killings of civilians in Ukraine, it has so far not criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin, and abstained when the UN General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council.

The United States tried to move India away from Russia last month, but President Joe Biden called India somewhat shaky in action against Russia, after President Joe Biden said that India was somewhat shaky in acting against Russia.

India has a lot of oil from Russia, but it has ramped up purchases recently because of discounted prices.

Johnson also announced new investments to the value of billions of dollars and export deals in areas such as software engineering, artificial intelligence and health, which he said would create more than 11,000 jobs across the UK.

Six suspected rebels and an Indian army officer were killed in two separate armed clashes in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said, two days ahead of Mr Modi'sModi's visit to the disputed region.

A gunfight broke out on Friday in the outskirts of southern Jammu city after police and soldiers spotted a group of militants in Sunjwan.

Two militants and a police officer were killed, and at least two soldiers and two police officials were injured in the ensuing fighting, according to police reports.

Dilbag Singh, the director-general of police, told New Delhi Television that the slain militants were planning a major attack. In a separate clash on Thursday, government forces killed four militants in Malwah, a village north-west of the main city of Srinagar.

At least four soldiers and a policeman were injured in the fighting, a police statement said.

Modi will speak in Jammu city on Sunday, in his first public event in the region since New Delhi stripped the region of its semi-autonomous status in 2019 and divided it into two directly governed territories.

India and Pakistan claim the divided Kashmiri territory in its entirety.

Rebels in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir have been fighting New Delhi's rule since 1989.