UK Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer on Friday said it was time for the India-UK relationship to be widened across all critical areas as he set out the Labour Party‘s foreign policy pitch in the lead up to the general election expected next year. Starmer said he sees huge scope of mutual benefit from enhancing the bilateral ties.

According to a statement, he would be making a keynote address to open India Global Forum‘s (IGF) annual UK-India Week summit in London next month. The address will mark the first major insight into the Labour leader’s vision for the party’s relationship with India, which went through some strain over sensitive issues such as Kashmir under his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.

“The time has now come to look to the future and work on how we can deepen and widen our cooperation in critical areas such as trade and investment, technology and innovation, climate action, diversity and inclusion, and healthcare, the future of work, skills and education – all areas where I see huge scope for mutual benefit,” said Starmer.

“I am looking forward to speaking at India Global Forum. The Labour Party has a long and strong relationship with India which I am very proud of,” he said.

The IGF UK-India Week, now in its fifth year, is a five-day series of events to be held between June 26 and 30 to bring together senior politicians, business and thought leaders from the UK, India and around the world to focus on the prospects of strengthening India-UK ties across different sectors.

“I believe it’s timely that Sir Keir will be opening UK-India Week this year. We are at a critical juncture, and so his participation underscores the importance of the need for a bipartisan approach to the relationship with India,” said IGF Founder and CEO Professor Manoj Ladwa.

“Given the ups and downs in Labour’s ties with India in recent years, I am sure his intervention at India Global Forum will be eagerly awaited, and in my view, much needed,” he said.

The UK-India Week 2023, themed around ‘Leading with Purpose’, will cover a range of issues from infrastructure and sustainable finance to technology and innovation and conclude with the UK-India Awards.

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